Are You Right or Left-Handed?

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
JOHN 1:14

As a left-handed person in a dominantly right-handed world, I’ve spent some time imagining how life might be different if I were other-handed. Not having the ability to use the correct hand for a certain task can be comical at times, but also frustrating or even dangerous. Fumbling with a carrot peeler (yes, they’re designed for right-handed people) is no big deal, but contorting oneself over a skill saw—yes, also for right-handers—look out.

John 1:14 reveals that Jesus is ambidextrous—not physically of course, but spiritually. He is described as being full of grace and truth. Jesus employed deft skill applying grace in one hand and truth with the other. For most of my life, I thought grace and truth were opposites. I supposed that if I applied one, it needed to be at the expense of the other, but in Jesus, both virtues are indivisibly united. In love, our Saviour meted out truth gracefully and grace truthfully.

As Christ-followers, we too are called to be people of both grace and truth, but we each have a natural tendency to emphasize one virtue over the other. Carried to extremes, truth without grace is harsh and ugly. Grace without truth is equally cruel because it doesn’t allow honest recognition of our brokenness and need to encounter the real power of the Gospel.

What about you? How evenly do you apply the right- and left-handed qualities of grace and truth?

Lord, in your mercy, show us how to apply both qualities to ourselves and others for your honour and glory.

1. Which of the two qualities is currently less evident in my speech and conduct? What quality can I practise in my walk during this season of growth?
2. Spend some time considering Jesus’ spiritual dexterity today (maybe try a few tasks with your non-dominant hand!) and thank him for applying both grace and truth so expertly in your own life.

Phil Vanderveen is serving as Associate and Worship Pastor of Peace Portal Alliance Church in South Surrey, BC.

Image: “DrawingHands”. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia –

One comment on “Are You Right or Left-Handed?

  1. A few years ago, I fell and broke my wrist. I was amazed at how much we need both hands to do even minor, everyday tasks. I needed help with all kinds of things that you wouldn’t imagine, just because one hand was out of commission. If we emphasize one of these virtues over the other, or apply only one, we severely limit our effectiveness in God’s Spirit & work. On the other hand, this is also why we need each other, to balance the things we’re either good at, or not so good at, and to help us grow into the kind of people God wants us to be.

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