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Friday, August 6, 2010

Grace and ‘Tough Love’

Grace bewares bearing the consequences of their own actions over people. Yet, it reluctantly – though assertively – issues the consequence when there’s no choice and it never delights in same.

Grace and so-called ‘tough love’ co-exist most assuredly through the wisest models of leadership, be it in any contextual situation.

Most markedly is the managing of this tremendous tension: when to let go and when to hold to account. This tension has troubled many people of moral conviction over the ages.

Divine Intent Meets Precisely in the Middle

We cannot have a world where there is ‘all free love’ or ‘all discipline’ as if the twain never met; yet, there are some who not only believe in a polarised reality (for only one or the other), they show they do via their actions when the crunch comes.

The Divine nature is a balance; it is perfection contextualisation.

As in a pendulum, this Divine balance of love swings to meet the precise needs of the actual circumstance. And so are we to meet this balance. God does not favour one over the other in this. God is seen as the perfect Arbiter over all things, certainly as judgments are made and grace is dished out.

The Anti-Grace and Anti-Tough Love Camps

Why be anti-anything of God?

God clearly is the purveyor of both grace and tough love. There are plenty of biblical examples to support this (without going into them here).

People generally see these as two mutually exclusive ‘schools,’ whereby we have to choose the camp with which to align; like, “Where are our allegiances?” Paul spoke about this in the early section of 1 Corinthians. “Everything belongs to you,” he said in 1 Corinthians 3:22 (NLT).

The ‘camps’ on either side would do best meeting in the middle—crossing the floor—and joining forces every now and then. This would augment the wisdom known in and through them.

“Everything,” dependent on the spiritually-discerned needs of the situation, is open to us, then. We use our discernment to make the God blessed decision the moment demands.

Chasing (Finally) the Will of God

This is Divine retribution; the reconciling of us truly back to God for God’s purposes and agenda alone. Denying God is not a wise move.

When we’re on-board with God we can see the flow between grace and tough love—and we can even see a little of both in both. It’s never as if the balance here is too awkwardly offset.

It is good to see the balance in God and God in the balance.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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