A paradox is defined as something that is “contradictory, inconsistent, or opposite.” For example, the statements “War paves the way for peace” and “Freedom requires limitations” are paradoxes. We have trouble processing them. Our minds can only wrap themselves around so much – they like it when we keep things simple. Therefore, when it comes to truth, we narrow things down to two sides. We have right, and we have wrong. We have black, and we have white.
So, when scripture points out the different characteristics of Jesus’ personality, it’s easy for us to be confused by what appear to be paradoxes. For example, Jesus was perfectly strong, yet he was perfectly gentle. Ultimately he displayed these competing qualities simultaneously on the cross. We also read in scripture that Jesus was the “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). I understand how a person could be full of grace – they would deal with others with tenderness and forgiveness. I can also understand how a person could be full of truth – they would know the difference between right and wrong, and would stand for what was right regardless of the consequences. However, it’s hard for me to imagine how someone could perfectly pull off both of these traits at the same time. Can’t tenderness and truth get in each other’s way? Aren’t they sometimes too paradoxical to co-exist? Yet, when Jesus is the person being discussed, the possibility makes perfect sense.
In February of 2009, I released my next indie CD, Stand For You. This CD actually caught the attention of INO records. They renamed it and released it nationally under the title, More Beautiful You. I understand and agreed with the reasoning behind changing the name. However, I think the original title was a better description of the theme behind the music. The album deals with standing up for the truth. Truth is always narrow. By definition it has to be. We claim that Scripture is filled with truth, and we are commanded to stand up for that truth no matter what happens. And while standing for a narrow truth we cannot waiver, even if others are offended by our actions. Jesus never buckled when he challenged the Pharisees’ practices, even though he often upset them.