Lesson Five • Devotion #5: Tough Love

Confrontation – Hard Truth – Tough Love

What feelings come over you when you hear these words? Is it anxiety and fear? Is it hope and potential? Whether you are a fan of having difficult conversations or not, I think we can agree that they are important.

While reading 2 Corinthians chapter 2, we see the sadness that overcomes Paul as he writes to those in Corinth. People he loves whom he once rejoiced in the Lord with, have fallen away from the truth of God. In this chapter we see a great example of grace and truth. Paul says in verses 3 and 4, “And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. For I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.” Essentially, “What in the world are you guys doing? I love you, but also, your current behavior and actions are not something to rejoice.”

Do you have someone in your life that will call you out? Is there someone that loves you enough to confront you, share the hard truth, and exhibit tough love? If not, I encourage you to find someone who will. It may take practice for you to accept this type of tough love as well. It can be difficult to hear our faults brought to light, but the fruit that comes from a friendship like this, one that is truly based in love and wanting God’s best for you, is priceless. We may think we want the advice of the “tell me what I want to hear” friend, but do we in the long run? I can assure you, the answer is, “No.”

Here are a few verses to remind us of the importance of confronting sin, hearing the hard truth, and showing tough love.

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 

“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” Luke 17:3 

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” Galatians 6:1 

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” Ephesians 4:15 

The topic is love. We need to love in word and deed. This should not need to be a daily event, but when it is needed, we must be ready to speak or listen.

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