God Is The Very Essence of Tough Love


We are often told that God is love, and that is true, for He loves us more than we love ourselves, and that says much. However, as often happens in this society and world, we only get half the story.  This society loves to tell us half of the truth, pretending that this half is the whole, but a true follower of Christ can see through that delusion just by identifying and reflecting on this society’s messages in the light of God’s Word and Christ’s example. Many plot to tell us lies, and many of those who lie do so while wearing masks, pretending to be Christ’s followers, as if calling ourselves Christian had a magical ability to make us so.  “Christian” and “Catholic” are merely words, and we often slip away from the essence of these words in our daily struggle to repay God’s love with loyalty, however fleeting. No, actions speak louder than words, and that is precisely where we are measured most vividly, and fall most completely.  God loves us despite ourselves and, if we are saved, it will also be despite ourselves, for our momentum, our pattern, our trend, is to fail.  The evil one wants us to give up, to decide that the goal is unattainable, not worth the effort.  This evil one wants us to measure God’s love and patience by our standards, and not His.  By our standards, we would have given up on ourselves long ago.  However, by God’s measure, we are still worth saving despite and regardless of our wretched weakness.

God is love, yes, but He is the Epitome of tough love, which is love so great that it is not afraid to teach, to point out weakness and flaws, to highlight failings, and to lovingly show the way. God is love, but He is not wimpy, appeasing love. This society paints Christ as some smiling hippie who winks at our sins and says “don’t worry, be happy”.  I wish I had a penny for every time I read or heard some diluted, pseudo-Christian or pseudo-Catholic proclaim that “my God is a God of love who would not condemn or profile anyone.”  Guess what, God is certainly about profiling, for we are told that He will separate the good from the bad on Judgment Day.  Last time I checked, Christ was throwing out the money changers and John the Baptist was telling it like it is regardless of the consequences.

We are living in a society where many evils and sins are tolerated, appeased, rationalized, and accepted either as no sin at all or, at the very least, as no big deal.  Many so-called Catholics will attend, for example, events and gatherings where sin is celebrated and the Word of God is disrespected, under the pathetic excuse and rationalization that they are merely being good friends, returning a kindness, not judging.  Implied in all of this is the image of Christ as some hyper-tolerant wimp who loves us so much that He contradicts His own teaching and example.  Love may be blind for us, but God can love with eternal/eternal vision, and tell it like it is to us, whether we like it or not.

The next time you are told or hear that God is love, answer that God is love, but a tough love, that cares so much for us as to not retreat from telling us what we need to hear, what we need to change, and how we need to act.  We may pretend that “our” God would not do this or that, or would accept everything this society so embraces, but that is only our illusion, our delusion, and our feeble “solution” to our self-generated dilemma of pleasing God and pleasing this world as well.  God loves us despite ourselves, and if we cannot, or do not want to deal with the consequences of that, well that is tough.

Copyright, 2012  Gabriel Garnica

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