Monte Hunt – Worship Leader
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Our great and mysterious God created each of us to be like Him (Gen. 1:26a), but at the same time unique from each other. Much like every snowflake that falls to the earth is created in the same way, yet each is uniquely different. It’s really quite a fascinating concept, filled with wonder.
We are not only different in how we look, but also in how we behave: some are extremely outgoing, others incredibly reserved, and there is every shade imaginable in between. Is any particular demeanor better than another? I would argue that neither is better or worse. They both have their advantages, and their flaws. But this is not God’s fault – it is ours.
God made this world perfect, then out of love gave us the choice to live for Him, or for ourselves. We have all chosen ourselves (this choice of self is also known as sin), and therefore, now made this an imperfect world. Hence our personalities and demeanors, though perfectly gifted to us by God, are now imperfect of our own volition.
But there was one man who lived life as our perfect God intended. Since Jesus was both fully God and fully man (Col. 2:9), wouldn’t it be interesting to discover what His human personality was like? One might assume that he was more outgoing, since he did quite a lot of public speaking, but this may not necessarily be the case. Many of today’s well-known public speakers and entertainers would describe themselves as introverted and quiet when out of the spotlight. Furthermore, it is recorded several times in Scripture that Jesus sought out solitude regularly. It seems that the answer to the human personality of Jesus may have to wait until heaven. But one thing is certain: he lived out his human disposition with absolute perfection.
In his book “The Grace and Truth Paradox” author Randy Alcorn says:
“People had only to look at Jesus to see what God is like. People today should only have to look at us to see what Jesus is like. For better or worse, they’ll draw conclusions about Christ from what they see in us. If we fail the grace test, we fail to be Christ-like. If we fail the truth test, we fail to be Christ-like. If we pass both tests, we’re like Jesus. A grace-starved, truth-starved world needs Jesus, full of grace and truth.”
I said before that all personality types are flawed by our own doing. An integral weakness in this is each of us leans toward either grace or truth in how we conduct ourselves. We either sacrifice truth for the sake of grace, or the other way around. Jesus sacrificed neither. He accomplished them both fully in every conversation and interaction he ever had. He spoke to people what they needed to hear, not what wanted to hear. And for those who accepted the truth His words and actions also offered unconditional grace.
I am definitely one who favors grace. I give people the benefit of the doubt; I like to discover the best in people. I am a grace-leaner. Is this a good thing? No, because quite often I am tempted to withhold or massage the truth for the sake of appearing accepting or gracious. Society likes this – God does not. But he also doesn’t approve of truth-leaners either; those who spout out what “needs to be said” with little or no regard for if anyone is actually listening or willing to accept it.
Randy goes onto say:
“Something’s wrong if [everyone] hates us. Something’s wrong if [everyone] likes us. If we accurately demonstrate grace and truth, some will be drawn to us, and others will be offended by us – just as they were by Jesus. When we offend everybody, it’s because we’ve taken on the truth mantle without grace. When we offend nobody, it’s because we’ve watered down truth in the name of grace.”
God has called us to be like Jesus: full of both grace and truth. So which way do you lean? Are you prone to tout the truth, or to glorify grace? Wherever you fall on the spectrum of imperfection, know that our perfect God is at work in you, if you are willing to let him. He is in the present state of making you perfect again, like his Son – full of grace and truth.