In a previous post we established why Christ-like communication is imperative for leaders. To have the kind of consistent, charitable, constructive, and controlled communication of Christ requires that we become more and more Christ-like to the core of our being so we exhibit BOTH grace and truth as He did. We’ll look at how we communicate with both grace and truth in the next post. Here we will consider the content of Christ-like communication.
Not only did Jesus come full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:14) but He also spoke of both grace AND truth.
Christ Communicated About Grace
Jesus didn’t just speak truth WITH grace. He spoke OF grace as well as truth. We don’t find Jesus actually using the term “grace” but we do find many word pictures and references to the concept of grace.
- Every time Jesus offered forgiveness, people learned about grace. (i.e., Matt. 9:2-8; Lk. 9:39-43)
- Some of the parables He told demonstrated grace. (i.e., prodigal’s son – Lk. 15:11-32, workers in the vineyard – Matt. 20:1-15, Pharisee & tax-collector praying told to those who were “confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else” – Lk. 18:9-14)
- What He said to the woman caught in adultery taught her, and us, about grace. (“neither do I condemn you” – Jn. 8:11)
We must not assume people will understand the word grace. We must speak about it in different ways that demonstrate and explain it.
Christ Communicated About Truth
Truth characterized everything Jesus communicated. Here’s a sampling of Jesus specifically pointing to truth.
- He talked of the need to worship in truth and spirit. (Jn. 4:23-24)
- He taught that truth sets people free. (Jn. 8:32, 34)
- Jesus referred to Himself as “a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God” whereas the devil “does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him” yet many did not believe Him. (Jn. 8:39-47)
- Jesus spoke about sending the Spirit of truth. (Jn. 14:17; 15:26; 16:13)
- Jesus referred to God’s Word as truth and the means of sanctifying us. (Jn. 17:17-19)
- Jesus told Pilate that He came into this world to bear witness to the truth. (Jn. 18:37)
We too must communicate the benefits of truth but also make clear that God is the Source of truth, not us.
The Content of Christ-like Communication Must Include BOTH Grace and Truth
People in Jesus’ sphere of influence couldn’t help but know He stood for BOTH grace AND truth by the words He used to communicate.
- We must be careful that we don’t speak only about truth without talking about grace so people don’t think the Christian life simply means laws and regulations and standing on principles.
- We don’t have to always to preempt our communication with the words “grace” and “truth” to let people know that’s what we’re talking about. It’s more important people understand the concept.
But, it isn’t enough to merely talk about grace and truth. Christ-like communication requires we exemplify it as well. Look for the next post about that.