I have often heard leaders use the phrase “”tough love” as an approach to holding others accountable for their actions. In the Scriptures, however, God uses a kind of “tough love” with himself through His self-sacrificing work on the cross.

His love drove him to ascribe unsurpassable worth to all creation, at a cost to himself. Amazing love!

“Love is the all-or-nothing of the kingdom of God. Above all we are to love (Col. 3:14; 1 Peter 4:8). Everything we do is to be done in love and, thus, communicate love (1 Cor. 16:14). We are to imitate God by living in Christ-like love (Eph. 5:1–2), and if we do this, we fulfill the whole law (Matt. 22:37–40; Rom. 13:8–10). If we lack this, everything else we do is devoid of kingdom value, however impressive it might otherwise be (1 Cor. 13:1–3)”

Gregory A. Boyd