In reading 1 John 2:7-8 recently, I was challenged to think of the relationship between love and discipline. God loves but he also seeks justice an disciplines us.
There is the same contrast involved in fostering learning and yet having to assess what the students have learnt. At times, we have students who are progressing in passing the assessments and yet are really failing on the learning. Occasionally, you discover that one of these students is getting assistance to complete the assessed exercises and is not able to pass written tests. In effect, the assignments haven't encouraged learning and for many actually place a limit on learning.
As a teacher, I need to assess or at least make a judgement on the learning that is or has occurred. This measure helps me plan the next stage of learning. Assessing is a necessary part of encouraging learning.
In the same way discipline is a necessary part of showing love. We are not left to do as we please but God through his love shows us the error of our ways so that we may repent and be redeemed. Through this process we are reconciled to him and all creation (shalom).
In attending a Workshop session on peace and power, we revisited the theme of shalom. It occurred to me that shalom is both peace and confrontation. When we wish somebody shalom, we are not simply saying peace be with you but we are challenging the hearer to confronted with God's truth. Even our own walk in shalom confronts us with the need to live out that shalom seeking the reconciliation of all creation.