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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Jesus: Where grace and truth collide

“But that is not Christian. It is not right. It is not good. It is not kind. It is hurtful. I do not like it.” So I have argued with God over the course of the last few weeks. It is really an ongoing argument over the last three years of my life. Recently it resurfaced. God is trying to convince me to love people His way, and I do not like it. Doesn’t He have any idea what people will say about me if I start doing things like that? How could He ask me to do something so unChristian?

Speaking up for myself and setting boundaries is an extremely hard thing for me to do. It does not feel like love to me because most of my life I did not know I could say no – to anything. Isn’t love saying yes? Isn’t it living for the happiness of the other person? Seeking to appease them? Doing whatever I can to make sure they live a happy life?

How could God have the audacity to ask me to say no?

I have learned saying yes often means I make all kinds of excuses for the other person’s actions. He really did not mean what he said. She just does not know any better. He is just in denial; it’s not his fault. She is hurting; that is why she is hurting me. It is really not so bad. Maybe I am just a baby. He really is a good person. I go on and on and on finding every possible reason God is wrong when He asks me to set boundaries.

I call all my excuses having grace. Isn’t that what Christians are supposed to have? Aren’t I supposed to be doormat while I bring the gospel of Jesus to the world? I mean how are they ever going to know I love them if I don’t let them walk all over me?

Yes, there is a hint of sarcasm in those examples and questions, but the real questions and excuses are even more extreme and stupid. I keep arguing with God about grace and forgiveness. If I forgive, why should I say no? Doesn’t that mean I should let the relationship be like it has always been? Treat the other person as if they did not sin against me?

Sometime last week, about the time I wrote my last article, God spoke to me. Not audibly. Just with one of those ah-ha moments. God is a God of grace. He asks me to love with grace, but He is also a God of truth. He asks me to love with truth. It has been a great deal harder for me to continue making excuses for my lack of boundaries after this revelation.

Since then I have done very little about this revelation except mentally process it. Thinking about it physically hurts. I cannot believe God wants me to do such an ungodly thing. How dare He? The worst part of it all is my counselor is on His side. She has a way of consistently reminding me of reality. She thinks my relationships should be based on truth. It annoys me, but I keep going back to God and her to get the courage to live my life with truth.

The gospel of the Apostle John says Jesus was full of grace and truth. I have been thinking about this over the course of the last week. More about the truth than the grace. Truth is always loving. It is better to experience the initial pain of truth than to live with the effects of lies.

There was a time in my walk with Jesus that I surrounded myself with lies. I did not even try to believe truth. What Scriptures had to say about my life or the direction it was headed did very little to disturb me. When it came to homosexuality, sex in general, drinking and my idolization of my career and hobbies, I just decided Jesus had become modern Himself. Yeah, there was some claptrap in the Bible about that stuff, but it had very little to do with modern American life. We had evolved past such old-fashioned legalism. Apparently, I thought I was the truth-maker.

As I wrote the last paragraph, I realized I really just idolized myself. Clearly I thought I was God and could create universal laws of how the universe operated. God had changed. I just knew it.

So how did it go for me? Pretty miserably. I was an emotional wreck when in my own home. Pretty stoic elsewhere. I became more and more and more miserable until one morning I sat on the edge of my bed and decided I had to put God back into the center of my life. I was so unable to do it on my own that I moved three thousand miles to live with my grandparents so they could help me.

My life has never gone well when I apply my version of grace without God’s version of truth. Actually it never goes well when I call people pleasing grace either.

Last week I told you I would write about how I might bring someone to Jesus if I never took my eyes off Jesus and could not compromise Jesus. I don’t know all the details to that answer, but I am convinced it involves grace and truth.

Do you ever find yourself using love as an excuse to say yes when you know you should say no? How does grace and truth interact in your life?

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