I have a recurring debate with someone. What she disagrees with is my contention that Jesus was harsh. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe He was entirely loving. And, in fact, when He was harsh, it was because it was the most loving thing He could be in that situation. But He was harsh. (Like calling people a brood of vipers, calling His best friend Satan, asking his buddies, “How long do I have to put up with you?,” I could go on and on.)
And in today’s reading (Titus 1) we see Paul being harsh. He calls an entire group of people “always liars … evil brutes … lazy gluttons.” He commands Titus to “rebuke them sharply.” He says they are “detestable, disobedient, and unfit for doing anything good.”
So what do we learn from this? Should we go around being harsh? Well, IF it’s the most loving thing we can be in that situation, yes. Not harshness for harshness sake, or because we have a bad temper, but because sometimes it’s what someone needs. Most Christians don’t think it’s even an option, that we have to always be mushy and sweet to be loving, but it is an option. And it may be the most loving option.