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“Speak the Language”

1 Thessalonians 5: 14: “And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.” Something called ‘tough love’ has crept into the language of society. But it’s not the language of the Church. Yes, the unruly you can feel free to admonish, but how do we respond to the fainthearted and weak? With encouragement, help, and patience, not toughness. St. Paul says elsewhere that love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13: 4), but he never mentions tough. Jesus said His sheep would know His voice, so we have to realize that when we hear this ‘tough love’ philosophy, it’s not His words coming forth.

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