Sometimes it feels like my head and heart are battling with each other. Like when I walk past a homeless person in the street and am troubled about how to act with compassion towards that person and yet still heed the warnings about the negative impact that giving money (and even food) to homeless people can have both on the individual and society. Like when a friend is making decisions about her life which seem unwise to me and I am confused about how to be there for her and yet not ignore the fact that her decisions are hurting her and other people.

"The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us." John 1:14

Reading 'The Practice of Grace and Truth with Homeless People' by Jon Kuhrt ( has really helped me to make sense of these feelings and thoughts, and to realise that it isn't as simple as a head / heart divide. It's about grace and truth. Jesus came into our world "full of grace and truth." He was the embodiment of total grace and total truth. Grace which loves unconditionally, which never gives up on a person, which gives second, third, fourth chances. Truth which doesn't skirt away from the facts, which challenges each of us to never stop learning and growing, which fights for transformed society and individuals.  The two weren't at war in Jesus, they were combined and fulfilled in Him. Jon talks about the need for both grace and truth in the lives of homeless people, and helps us to imagine what that looks like. But I think the application is much wider than this. We all need grace and truth in our lives, and so do the people we encounter everyday. So does our society.

As Randy Alcorn writes "Grace and truth are like the two strands of DNA’s double helix, creating a perfect symmetry of Christian character."

And so I see things differently now, or at least I have a framework to make better sense of what I believe. It's not about whether heart or head has the stronger pull. It's about how my thoughts, actions and attitudes can be full of both grace and truth. Tom Gilson writes "You can change culture without truth: plenty of lying leaders have proved it’s possible. You can change the world without grace: history is filled with stories of harsh dictators. But you can’t have a truly Christian strategy without grace and truth in full measure together."