Mean Love

The other day I was talking to a friend about how to confront a certain person. This person was a Christian and had a really sinful, toxic attitude about something. I did just a little coaching on, “Here’s what I would say and how I would say it.” Then my friend asked, “But don’t you care that you’d come off as kind of mean?”

Yes, God is love, and we’re supposed to be loving, but sometimes love is mean. Right? If a truck is about to hit your spouse from behind, you don’t say, “Hey pookie wookie, do you mind moving so you don’t get run over?” No, you scream, “Move!” and it will sound mean.

Sometimes mean is the best strategy. Sometimes mean is the most loving thing we can do. And we see that in today’s reading (2 Corinthians 7). Paul (the author) had written a previous letter in which he was … well, mean. Mean about sin in the church at Corinth. And in this follow-up letter, he says, ‘I see that I hurt you. And I don’t regret it.’ Why?? Because it led to godly sorrow. Because it led to necessary change.

Sometimes the nicest thing you can do for a person is slap them in the face. So is there anyone you need, because you love them, to slap in the face? And is there a person you need to give permission to slap you in the face? … Get to slapping.