While truth is an absolute necessity, it is not necessary to use it to beat someone into submission. The message of the New Testament is to speak the truth in love.
When John wrote about Jesus, he described the Lord as being full of grace and truth. Think about that for a moment and reflect on the manner of ministry embraced by Jesus. What did Jesus do when He met the town prostitute at the city well? Did he berate her with a long lengthy sermon? No, He lovingly shared the truth with her and poured out His grace upon her.
What was the result of this one and one encounter with the sinful woman and the Saviour of the World? She drank from the cup of salvation and shared the water of life with those she knew, and revival broke out in her village.
Throughout the pages of John’s Gospel we see this same pattern repeated time and again. The faces are different, the names are not the same, but the manner of ministry was always full of grace and truth.
When Paul wrote to the believers at Galatia, he said: If a person gets trapped by wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should help that person turn away from doing wrong. Do it in a gentle way. At the same time watch yourself so that you also are not tempted (Galatians 6).
What has always intrigued me about the verse above, is the phrase, those of you who are spiritual. If we fail to embrace this manner of ministry, are we failing in our spiritual life?
There have been several times in my life that people have told me that I am full of things that I’d rather not discuss. What I hope is that there are times that people look at me and say that my manner of ministry is full and grace and truth.