John 1:14 & 17 14 … We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
In his book, Changes That Heal (Zondervan, 1992), Henry Cloud outlines three ingredients of genuine spiritual growth and emotional health. The common ingredients are grace, truth and time.
Twice Jesus is described as being full of “grace and truth” (John 1:14,17). He touched and changed the lives he encountered with both grace and truth.
Grace. Grace is radical acceptance by someone who knows my full story. It is the unmerited favor of God toward his people. Grace is something we have not earned and do not deserve. Grace is where errors are forgiven and new beginnings are possible. Grace gives us hope beyond ourselves.
Truth. Truth is what is real. It describes how things really are and involves the naming and facing of reality. No denial and pretense. Truth may be painful but truth is your friend.
Truth without grace, or without being tempered by love, is judgment. Without grace we become heavy-handed in our approach to spirituality. Grace without truth easily leads to loose and lazy living–no growth, no change, no limits, no consequences.
Time. Growth always takes time despite our quick-fix mentality. Although time by itself never produces growth, it is impossible to grow without it. “Good time” is time in which we, and our experiences, can be affected by grace and truth. In other words, any area of our lives that is not brought into the light cannot be transformed no matter how much time we give it.
Grace and Truth. Embrace them over time and witness the cumulative effect. Live them out in the context of relationships for maximum benefit.