Jesus questioned the woman caught in the act of adultery, whose accusers were ready to stone her to death. “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:10-11).
Jesus knew how to sort out grace and truth with ease. Jason sometimes finds it difficult to sort out grace and truth. When Jason’s daughter told him, “Dad, I read your book, it is well written,” this was certainly grace. Then she went on to say, “I liked certain portions”, which was truth. Conversations soaked with grace and truth emit fragrance to life. Our conversations cease to be gracious if they lack truth. Truthful conversations lose power if they lack grace. Jesus kept grace and truth together when he spoke to the woman to leave her life of sin. Grace without truth sanctions and perpetuates unwanted actions.
Performance reviews at work place can provide constructive criticism to ineffective employees. Is it grace when we allow our friends or relatives to wander down dangerous paths without saying anything? No, grace without truth is not grace at all. On the contrary, it may be argued that truth without grace destroys life.
Jason admits, he has a hard time hearing truth if he is busy defending himself. He also finds it difficult to identify truth when accusations feel like it is more for the person’s good than for his. He frankly admits that he is not capable of accepting truth from a person if the attack appears personal. Lastly, he stops thinking about truth if the person makes claims about his motives. Jason is correct because only Jason knows about his motives. He would rather be asked what his motives were than be told what the other person thinks they are.
In every culture without grace you will lose credibility, and any hope for truth telling will be destroyed.