“He rules the world with truth and grace…” (Joy to the World)
It’s Christmas time – one of my favorite times of the year. As a result, we get to sing my favorite Christmas carols over and over and over. Because we sing them so often, sometimes I don’t pay attention to the words I’m singing. However, a few years ago, I was singing a classic Christmas carol and the words jumped off the screen at me. “He rules the world with truth and grace…”
Truth AND Grace. Not just truth. Not just grace. Both together is the best blend. This spoke volumes to me then as we were in the thick of parenting: elementary school, middle school, high school. Each brought its own challenges and each brought sweet rewards. Innocence. Attitudes. Forgetfulness. Kindness. Hormones. Love. And when done correctly, lots of memory making and laughter thrown in for good measure.
I tend to take myself too seriously. As a recovering perfectionist, I don’t like making mistakes. My whole life I’ve wanted to be a wife and mother and it’s too important of a job to make mistakes. My children’s lives are at stake… or so I thought. And yes, to a degree they are. I don’t want to miss out on teaching them the basics, the important aspects they need for becoming self-sufficient, hardworking members of society. More importantly, I don’t want to miss important opportunities to teach them about a relationship with Jesus Christ because that has eternal consequences. But, cushioning life’s lessons in between lots of laughter and fun makes the lessons easier to learn.
Truth cushioned in grace. Shouldn’t I follow the example of the very person I’m trying to introduce my children too? If Jesus cushioned His truth, the Truth, in grace, shouldn’t I do the same? But what does that look like? Truth reminds me that there are consequences to our actions. Grace reminds me to look at the heart and use love to cushion the consequences. It’s always better to err on the side of love.
I think I should sing Christmas carols all year long to remind me to balance out truth with grace… always. I never want to run out of grace with those I love, those I have contact with either regularly or happen to meet only once. May I be remembered as someone who freely gave grace because while truth is necessary, sprinkled with plenty of grace it’s easier to swallow.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018