I Corinthians 16:13 (ESV) Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.
If you ever played any kind of sport and had a coach who wasn’t tough? More times than not, guess what you did all season, “lose”! Great coaches are tough-minded; they attract people who will give their best for them. The truth of the matter is “Winning” in anything requires being tough!
If you are a preacher and you speak week after week, preach what needs to be said, not what others want you to say. You preach it until the day you can’t preach anymore (II Timothy 4:3). Stand firm, even if they don’t want to hear it and finally run you off. That’s your calling. If you’re a counselor, tell the truth to people you counsel, even when they don’t want to hear it. Remember Jesus said “Truth sets people free” (John 8:32).
If a close friend says to you, “You know, I have to admit, things aren’t going good at home. Our marriage isn’t going good these days. And so, wouldn’t you know it, I met this nice lady at the gym. Boy, she is a sweety. Matter of fact, we’re going out to dinner tomorrow night.” He may think he’s solving his problem, but you know better. He needs some tough love.
So have that difficult conversation and say, “That’s the worst thing you could possibly do. What you’re getting into will only multiply your difficulties at home.” Caring enough to confront folk and speak truth will set people free. Do you care enough to help set people free?
We’re living in a world of people so twisted they make you think perversion is right. And if you don’t think perversion is right, you’re wrong. Now that’s madness! I don’t care if you’re the only one thinking like that. It’s part of doing what’s right. Getting tough begins with being tough on yourself.
We have to be alert against the enemy (I Peter 5:6). At times we have to stand alone against evil, even if others choose not to. We have to grow up as a nation family of God and stand tall and act like men and women. And we have to be tough, not mean, not responding with evil for evil, but tough.