2 Corinthians 1:21-2:4
I hated those times when my parents got onto me about something I did or didn’t do. Those painful moments always left me feeling disconnected from them. I felt that I’d missed the mark of their expectations and didn’t measure up. Letting go of the disappointment I had in myself and reconnecting with my parents after disappointing them was even harder than hearing what they had to say.
Years later, when I became a mother, I experienced the other side of such experiences. The genuine love we feel for those in our care often leads us into conversations we would prefer to avoid. But the depth of our feeling for those we love makes us desire that they will fully become the person God created them to be. Hopefully those who receive our words will recognize love as the motive and the tone of those words.
When we’re young and learning to relate to authority figures, it takes time to understand that love often motivates correction. We hear disdain and disappointment and want to distance ourselves from the people and actions that might be helpful to us. As Paul writes his letter to the church at Corinth, I imagine him approaching his task with the attitude my parents did when they instructed me. Paul’s chastisement wasn’t disdainful; it was loving. God’s Spirit gave Paul a vision for what the Corinthian church could become. They could be more than a divided community; they could be the body of Christ. Though Paul’s words may have been uncomfortable to read, they came from a place of genuine love.
When has love led you to initiate a tough conversation? What did you learn from the experience? When have you received tough love that changed you for the better?
Loving God, help us remember that love covers a multitude of sins. Thank you for loving us beyond our mistakes and help us remember that love never fails. Amen.