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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Discerning Love: Day 4

‘“Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness,” as C. S. Lewis has said, and the most unloving thing I could possibly have done to her [a friend with same-sex desires seeking help] would have been to substitute some sort of mindless “loving acceptance” for the very things that were killing her. It is one thing to accept a person where he or she is, and another to accept their malignant behavior that works against them as well as others. It is also one thing to accept the real person who stands before you needing to be freed, and another to accept (and direct a kindly tolerance toward) his or her carnal self who dons whatever ‘face’ the occasion might call for while preventing the real, creative self from coming forward. Jesus Christ never wasted His time, energy, and prayer by helping a person ‘practice the presence’ of the old carnal self. He didn’t converse with it or exercise the great virtue of kindness toward it. He paid attention only by saying “Die to it!”’ (The Broken Image, pp. 117, 118)

Leanne did not linger with persons who resisted the truth and who then tried to blame her for nearly everything. She discerned something we all must if we want to help the broken: don’t dialogue for long with persons who want to hold onto their sins. When we do, we reinforce what is unreal in them. We focus instead on those who can’t wait to leave the old self behind; these ones need our precious time and strength. And we, like Leanne, need not be afraid of calling our wounded friends to realize how they wound themselves when they refuse to repent. We then invite them to do what Jesus asks of every Christian: ‘Pick up your cross, deny yourself, follow Me.’ 

‘Jesus, give us discerning love. Show us when someone’s lament is a defense against doing the hard work of repentance. Expose the ‘victim’ who wants to blame us for wounding them rather than look to Jesus to help take the next hard step to growing up. With our help! May truth and grace kiss in our care for every suffering soul.’

‘Jesus, please confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court.’

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