Sometimes we hear about ‘Tough Love’ being called into action. No doubt there are times when certain people need a reality check but even in such instances, ‘Tough Love’ must be administered in a way consistent with Christian charity itself. Otherwise the ‘Tough Love’ will be nothing more that a “gong booming or a clanging cymbal” to quote 1 Cor 13:1. Indeed in such circumstances it came become an outlet for personal anger and frustration, vanity, egotism, etc.
Today’s reading from Morning Prayer (Eph 4:29-32) has other helpful advice for the administration of ‘Tough Love’:
Do not use harmful words when talking. Use only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed so that what you say will do good to those who hear you… No more shouting or insults. No more hateful feelings of any sort.