From raging mommy wars to political mudslinging to caustic comment-battles on the blogosphere, we live in a world that seems ever more full of rancor and divisiveness. Have you ever felt hungry for a little more grace? A bit more civility? A modicum of respect?
We seem to live in a tension between two extremes. On one end is the mindset that civility necessitates abandoning conviction—that it requires a peace-at-all-costs, everything-is-okay, and who-am-I-to-judge mentality stripped of any semblance of right and wrong.
While at the other extreme, we find a culture of truth-telling that’s devoid of grace, that puts principles over people, that prizes dogma while dishonoring human dignity.
But are these the only two options? Nice, conviction-free tolerance or ugly, hostile truth-telling?
As part of Christianity Today, our vision for Today’s Christian Woman is to embody Beautiful Orthodoxy: to richly communicate the true, good, and beautiful gospel and to do so with a tone of convicted civility. With an unwavering commitment to biblical truth, we aim to speak that truth with love and grace, characterized by our desire to honor the human dignity of others, to listen and fairly understand opposing viewpoints, and to embody the fruit that God’s Spirit bears in our lives.
Sometimes speaking truth with both conviction and grace means wading into difficult issues and not shying away from dialogue about controversial subjects. Sometimes it means talking honestly about the painful, ugly, and dark struggles in our lives. And sometimes—in fact every time—it means pointing others to Jesus, the one who is truth and who is the light by which we see.
In this issue of Today’s Christian Woman we’re wading into frank conversation regarding alcohol—a subject about which Christians may disagree. Rachel Marie Stone examines what the Bible says—and doesn’t say—about alcohol consumption, and Kim Harms unpacks how God challenged her pride when it came to her strict views on drinking. Helen Coronato candidly shares about her battle with drug and alcohol addiction, pointing us to the truth and grace of Christ that we can each find in our own brokenness and struggles.
This world needs more women of grace and truth. Women who, unwavering in their principles, are also kind, generous, tenderhearted, and Christlike. Rather than reacting to the culture with rage, slandering those we disagree with, or resorting to bitterness in the face of painful struggles, will you join us in our commitment to convicted civility? May we, together, “speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ”; may we each live out our calling, influence the world for the gospel, and build up the church so that it “is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:14–16).
For Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper
- Carolyn Custis James: What It Means to Be a Woman in MinistryeBook Format Available! Author and speaker Carolyn Custis James offers leadership insights for women.