Titus 2:11-14 – “…the grace of God has appeared…12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires…13 looking for…the appearing of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, eager for good deeds.”
Dr. Henry Cloud is a Christian clinical psychologist and New York Times bestselling author. Through his expertise and studies, Dr. Cloud says you can narrow down effective parenting to two main principles: ‘high warmth with high challenge.’ If you have one without the other, it is a handicap to children. When the two are working hand in hand, it leads to human flourishing. As Christians, we should not be surprised by this finding from clinical studies, as John describes Jesus as being full of grace and truth.
Jesus comes to people with great warmth. He has compassion and is full of sympathy for our sinful estate. He wants to receive us as we are, while providing His Holy Spirit to transform us into His image and likeness. When we grow confident in Jesus’ unconditional love, our trust grows in His high challenge truths. We understand that Jesus speaks the truth about where we need to grow not to harm us, but to help us. We also understand that His high calling and standards are promises of His power to help us live up to His righteousness.
Take a moment and consider your self-talk. Are you full of grace and truth to yourself? I have found that until we learn to receive Jesus’ warmth, we cannot give it; until we experience His power, we are not excited to let others know they too can live above sin.