Monday, December 27, 2010

Tough Love

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you. – Galatians 4:8-11

Paul is going hard in the paint on the Galatians! “I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.” Good grief.

Have you ever had your parents tell you that they were disappointed in you? Man that’s like the roughest thing ever for a kid. All other forms of punishment are fleeting when you think about it. If you get grounded that ends in time. Even if you get a whoopin it ain’t so bad. Actually I always thought that was better than being grounded. It ends as quick as it begins (and I was blessed with parents that didn’t mistake spankings with abuse so it was all good after it was done).

But geez… knowing that you have disappointed your parents is not the business. Regardless of how disobedient a child becomes they don’t ever really want to confront the idea of falling short in a meaningful way.

But this is exactly what Paul said. When I first read it I thought it was mean. I thought that he was going in way too hard on them. But on second thought it was just some tough love equal to the risk they were running by chasing after flawed gospel. Sometimes the truth hurts but you still gotta tell it.

Tough love is better than kind indifference.

Paul showed them love by telling them about themselves in such clear language. That kind of honesty is a rare treasure. It reminded me of one of my favorite proverbs:

“An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” - Proverbs 24:26

Even when the kiss feels like a smack on the face, know that it is what is best for you when it comes from a place of love. Sometimes folks on the outside see what we fail to see. You are truly blessed when you have folks in your life that will risk pissing you off to tell you the truth.

I know I have several such people in my life and I thank God for them… even when I ain’t trying to hear it.

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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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