I've been thinking about this for a while.
Inge's post Cruel to be Kind got my thoughts going in this direction. Then yesterday I read the following words from Ogilvie:
"Kindness is the steadfast love of the Lord in action toward those who fail".
What a powerful statement! I can't even begin to express my gratitude for God's kindness toward me; I've failed miserably and repeatedly (and in things that matter).
But even as I read those words yesterday morning during my quiet time with God, I had in the back of my mind a problem situation with 3 employees, two of which I feel are trying to play me. One of which I'm beginning to think has been leaving work while still on the clock. This is a huge problem for more than the obvious reasons. I run small homes in the community where severely disabled adults live and we only staff 2 or 3 employees with the 6 individuals who reside in the home. So one staff less can mean safety issues (not to mention the fact that we have a regulatory requirement of 1 staff for every three individuals). Plus, due to the nature of the situation, I really have to be able to trust the staff. It's my responsibility to make sure the individuals who live in our homes are well cared for and enjoy a good environment.
So I found myself asking that age old question - how can I be kind, yet still hold people accountable for their actions and implement consequences?
I don't know a single parent who hasn't struggled with this same issue at some point or another. It's the idea of always wanting to be kind, yet needing to be effective. I frequently find that balance a challenge to achieve. I've always tried to establish a system for both employees and my sons where the boundaries are clear. The boundaries in terms of expectations as well as what is unacceptable. Then have consequences to unacceptable choices clearly delineated from the start.
But life just isn't always so cut and dried. In fact, I've always been annoyed by those "perfect parents" who seem to claim that it is. Life is full of gray.
Guess that's where my need of Christ and His discernment comes in. Repeatedly I have to call out to Him for wisdom in how to handle specific situations.
What about you, do you ever struggle with implementing the balance between kindness and justice?