I just finished NT Wright's book, Surprised by Hope. His final paragraph is worth reproducing here.
In our incomplete world God's gentle offer and demand press upon us as fearful things, almost threatening. God in his gentle love longs to set us free from the prison we have stumbled into--the loveless prison where we refuse both the offer and the demand of forgiveness. We are like a frightened bird before him, shrinking away lest this demand crush us completely. But when we eventually yield--when he corners us and finally takes us in his hand--we find to our astonishment that he is infinitely gentle and that his only aim is to release us from our prison, to set us free to be the people he made us to be. But when we fly out into the sunshine, how can we not then offer the same gentle gift of freedom, of forgiveness, to those around us? That is the truth of the resurrection, turned into prayer, turned into forgiveness and remission of debts, turned into love. It is constantly surprising, constantly full of hope, constantly coming back to us from God's future to shape us into the people through whom God can carry out the work in the world.--NT Wright, Surprised by Hope, page 289.
This also calls to mind a verse upon which I have been meditating today: "As a prisoner of the Lord, I urge you: Live a life that is worthy of the calling He has graciously extended to you. Be humble. Be gentle. Be patient. Tolerate one another in an atmosphere thick with love.-Ephesians 4:1-2 (The Voice)