To earn the right to challenge someone else's decision you need to have a pretty good relationship with them or be pretty convinced that they are heading in the wrong direction.
2 Corinthians 10.1-18
Reference: v.9 I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. (NIV Bible)
Explore: Sometimes there comes a point in a relationship where 'tough love' is called for. This comes when you can see a loved one making a wrong decision and you need to highlight some truth to them. The situation that calls for tough love may be due to a social faux pas: "Darlin', I know you love that shirt but I'm pretty sure our party tonight does not come with an Hawai'ian theme." Or the situation may be of greater significance: "I know it sounds appealing, but how is that job going to affect your whole family?" Tough love can bring up some big issues as well as put a strain on relationships.
Application: It can often be a tough decision as to whether you ask the tough questions or not. To earn the right to challenge someone else's decision you need to have a pretty good relationship with them or be pretty convinced that they are heading in the wrong direction. Tough love can either make or break a relationship.
The Apostle Paul was being called to task about his writings. It seems that some people found him quite confronting when communicating through letters. But he was not apologetic about his words. His intention was for the Corinthian's faith to grow and for the kingdom of God to expand. His mission may have put a few noses out of joint but he had such vision that he was not going to allow that to deter him. Paul was certainly not shy to write some tough love. However, because of his tough love we have a greater knowledge and understanding of God.
Prayer: Lord, although it is never comfortable, sometimes we need some tough love. When it is dished out, help us to seek guidance and discernment from You. Amen.
When have you ever had to deliver some tough love?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.