Divine Grandpa or Judge?

When someone has to teach me something I want them to be good at being able to communicate what I need to learn or how I’m supposed to do what I’m being taught to do. I want the person to be good at communicating the appropriate truth. But it doesn’t end there. I also want the person to exhibit some patience and understanding when I’m a little dense. I want to be shown some grace. Some are great at communicating the truth I need to know or learn but are short on the grace I need to be shown while learning it. Other teachers can be too easy on me and cut me so much slack that I never have to grapple with the truth I’m supposed to be learning.

This contrast between grace and truth also comes into play in our relationship with God. Some see God as a benevolent old man, a loving grandfather-type God who never corrects or reprimands, but just smiles and nods and accepts whatever we do. Others see God as a harsh and angry judge who will never be accepting and loving, no matter what we do or don’t do.

The God revealed in the Scriptures is very different from either of these caricatures. The Lord God is very gracious, but He also wants truth to prevail. He’s full of both grace and truth!

The way to have a real, fully-rounded, robust relationship with God is like having a relationship with anyone else, just infinitely more so. There needs to be some grace and some truth expressed in order for it to work. God invites us to accept the fullness of His grace; He invites us to accept the fullness of His truth!

“The One and Only who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)


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