We all need a healthy dose of grace to thrive. And we also need truth. While our tendency is to emphasize one more than the other, Christ shows us a path full of grace and truth.
Grace gives us what we don’t deserve and didn’t earn. In relationships, this is unconditional acceptance – to be accepted for who we are regardless of what we’ve done.
For example, in family, we don’t earn the right to be accepted. We’re simply accepted despite our many quirks and shortcomings. While often this is very frustrating, this is how families extend grace to each other.
And this applies also to friendship and our communities at large. Truly loving our neighbor is offering grace and acceptance simply because they are our neighbors.
But grace does not mean anything goes.
Truth reminds us that there is a way life works. And some things are good while others are not – a universal truth not dependent on our personal opinions.
In relationships, regular reminders of what is true and good is part of our responsibility to each other. In fact, it’s a disservice when we don’t hold each other accountable to continually move toward the best version of ourselves.
Parents holding their child accountable and encouraging his growth, for instance, is a demonstration of their love. And to do otherwise would be considered neglect.
While our adult relationships hold a very different dynamic, love is still shown by the truth we bring into our relationships.
Without grace, we suffocate under the burden of truth. And without truth, we become impotent due to enabling.
We need both – life and relationships full of grace and truth.
Practice the grace of unconditional acceptance while also holding firm to what is good and true.