We’ve established that Jesus was not only full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:14) but also communicated about grace and truth. We must also note that Jesus backed up His words about grace by being gracious. And, He not only spoke about Truth but also truthfully.
Jesus communicated in ways that demonstrated grace. We see this in how He welcomed and ate with tax collectors and sinners (Matt. 9:10-13). We have a picture of His graciousness in the way He accepted worship from a woman considered a sinner when others condemned her (Lk. 7:36-50).
We must be careful “how” we communicate, not just “what” we communicate, in order to have Christ-like communication. The words we use matter but so does our tone of voice, facial expressions, eye contact, and overall body language. Everything about our communication needs to be consistent with grace to be Christ-like. What message does our non-verbal communication give?
Even with those who malign us, we respond “with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (1 Pet. 3:15-16). Christ-likeness demands grace in these kinds of situations, which is possible when we entrust ourselves to God. — “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Pet. 2:23)
Jesus told it as it was. He didn’t try to candy coat or manipulate people into believing and becoming His disciples (i.e., Lk. 9:57-62). — “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” (1 Pet. 2:22)
We likewise must be careful to honestly communicate. If we bend the truth to try to appeal to people or pull them to our side, we aren’t being Christ-like in our communication. — “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” (Eph. 4:25)
Communicate Both Graciously AND Truthfully
While we are to speak the truth, we must do it “in love” (Eph. 4:15) which is where grace comes in. Notice the word “always” in Colossians 4:6. — “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
The combination of grace AND truth in our communication brings growth, the building up of one another in the Lord, which should be our objective as leaders.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Eph. 4:15-16)