For those of you who have children, you may know the difficulty of finding the balance between grace and discipline. After all, you love your child and want to extend grace at times but you also need to make sure that your child is learning the lessons they should each time they do something inappropriate or naughty.
The problem I have found is that when I offer my son grace in place of punishment on too many occasions, that gratitude which my child first exuded begins to wane. I find that he ends up making the same mistakes over and over again instead of learning the lesson he needs to learn.
The other night, I was on his case about something he had done wrong and something came over me. I began to realise that I must seem like a very big scary person when I am standing above my child shouting at him. So I knelt down, grabbed him by the hands and in a soft voice told him I was not angry with him but rather that I wanted to help him. I saw his eyes come back to life in that moment and I felt absolute, unconditional love for this little guy. Then I asked him to tell me what I could do to help him improve in the areas of his life where he was struggling; he needed to know and understand that I was not happy with what he had done and I let him know why, every time I extend my grace, he just continues making the same errors and doing the same things time and time again without any real change.
You see, there are two sides to the grace coin and it may surprise you what the other side of grace is. The other side of the grace coin is – TRUTH.
Without truth, grace is just an excuse to continue living the way you always have been. Grace without truth is a path that leads to no real change. A real, long-lasting change happens when you see truth, accept truth and change accordingly. Truth leads to repentance and grace is there to lift you up off the floor in order to give it another chance to get it right.
Definition of repent
- to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life
- to feel regret or contrition
- to change one’s mind.
The bible tell us that
‘The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us.’ – John 1:14
We must always make sure that we have a good balance of grace and truth, because one without the other does not help anyone become better.
You can’t have one without the other.
- With only truth, people feel judged and can even end up feeling useless – like they may never achieve what is expected of them.
- With only grace, people will feel like they can just continue to do wrong things without any consequences – After all, they will just be forgiven again.
You have to have both and without both, people will never learn or grow from their mistakes. It’s important for all of us to learn from our mistakes in order to grow in life and character.
So live with both truth and grace, teaching right from wrong yet always extending grace. Remember, none of us are perfect in anything. Extend that grace to your friends and family, but also be truthful because telling someone truth shows them you care. When people feel really loved and cared for, the changes will begin to happen naturally. If you would like to know more about the grace and truth of Jesus Christ, click the link or pop-up window and let us walk this journey with you.
Your life will never be the same again!