There are always two worlds. The world as it operates is largely about power; the world as it should be, or “the Reign of God,” is always about love. Conversion is almost entirely about moving from one world to the next, and yet having to live in both worlds at the same time. As you allow yourself to loosen your grip on the ego or bad forms of power, you will gradually see the inadequacy and weakness of mere domination and control. God will then teach you how to tighten your grip around the second world, which is the ever-purer motivation of love.
Any exercise of power apart from love leads to brutality and evil; but any claim to love that does not lead to using that as power for others is mere sentimentality and emotion. I must admit, it is rare to find people who hold both together in perfect balance—who have found their power and use it for others, or people who have found love and use it for good purposes. I think the Reign of God includes both love and power in a lovely dance. I think that is what Jesus means when he tells us to be “cunning as serpents but gentle as doves” (Matthew 10:16). It is a beautiful combination of both authority and vulnerability.
Adapted from Jesus’ Plan for a New World: The Sermon on the Mount, p. 41