On today’s Whiteboard Wednesday, Scott Lokers, from the Great Lakes Region Transition Ministries Services team, discusses the idea of having authentic community through grace and truth.
A community of grace and truth is important to have in life. It’s necessary for authentic transformation, and it helps us to live under God’s purpose and design.
Let’s anchor this in scripture:
John 1:14 tells us that, “The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, full of grace and truth.”
This description of Jesus – full of grace and truth – matters greatly. We all have a tendency to go toward grace OR to go toward truth. We might extend to grace or we might share the truth, but doing both is a challenge. Thinking about your own life, do you have a tendency to go in one direction or the other? That is, do you tend to move toward grace, or do you tend to move toward truth?
Some may move toward grace because they are afraid to hurt someone else’s feelings, or out of a desire to be liked. For them, it may be difficult to have the courage to speak the truth. But if we think about the kinds of communities we want to be a part of, and to help create, both grace and truth matter. It’s not grace OR truth. It’s grace AND truth.
So, what would a community of grace look like?
A community of grace is where we receive each other without condemnation or shame. This does not mean we don’t do things wrong, or that there are no standards. It means that we receive each other with no condemnation or no shame.
On the other hand, a community of truth is where we hold each other accountable. We do this to help each other learn and grow. It’s not a place filled with bad people, or where we try to make each other feel bad. It’s about learning and growing. Think of it as holding up a mirror for each other, and asking one another if we are both living under God’s design? Importantly, we should realize that the person who is holding up the mirror for you is doing it for your own good, the good of the community, and the good of the mission of Jesus Christ.
So, the challenge here is, what are you doing? What are you going to do to step into a community of grace and truth?
These communities can be teams you are a part of, the place where you work, family, or your congregation. How can we make each of those communities a place of grace and truth? One action step to take today is to determine how to become less judgmental or less condemning. Another possible action step is to get help from someone else to see what you cannot see. Either way, whatever step you choose moves you one step closer to living in an authentic community.
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