Another False Dichotomy?

People talk about it all the time.

But I'm sick of hearing it, frankly.

I've written elsewhere on this blog (here) about the false dichotomy I think people subscribe to when they talk about "balancing family and ministry." Fie. Fie on that. I think it's not only a false dichotomy, but an inherently dangerous one.

Here's another: grace and truth.

We generally use it to refer to some sort of middle ground between giving people too much grace (i.e., being too "lenient" with them, as if we were their judges in the first place) and hitting people over the head with the truth (i.e., being too hard on them, as if it's our job to measure out how much truth a person can take in the first place).

I don't buy it.

Because I thank grace IS truth.

When John the Gospel writer referred to Jesus as the one "who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14, NIV), I don't think he was saying Jesus struck that balance perfectly. I think he was saying there was no longer any balance to strike, that grace and truth unite in Jesus, that in him "Mercy and truth are met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other" (Psalm 85:10, KJV). They are not separate things, but the same thing, a unity not a dichotomy, in Christ.

When I show grace, I am exercising truth. Grace is truth. I think that's a big part of what Jesus showed us.


  1. What I see this supposed dichotomy ultimately come down to is love vs fear. We are told to worship in Spirit and in truth, to speak the truth in love, it seems that truth is always an integral part of love/grace/Spirit. What I find I typically end up hearing from a person who prefaces their statements with 'giving me truth, whether I can handle it or not' kind of statements, is that what they are telling me is their fears, these fears may 'feel' to them like truth, but they are lies. There is no fear in love. That is the true dichotomy love vs fear. One IS God and one is the absence of God and therefore false and untrue.

  2. Wow, Mary, that's deep. And true. Thanks for the thoughtful, insightful comment.