• Christ and Church Life and Building Spirit and Bride


    As a lover of Christ and a pursuer of truth, I write down my joys, memories and reflections.

    May God lead us all into the secret of His presence, and build us into the oneness of His body in love.
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The dilemma between genuine love and the need to convert and heal

I always wonder about the following paradox:

Whether a spiritually mature and loving Christian would attempt to “perfect,” “heal,” and “change” others, or “accommodate,” “cover,” and “endure” others? On the one hand, how can a loving person not to rectify his beloved to “what is right”? On the other hand, under pure and humble self-examnitation in love, how can a loving know everything about a person and the situation without the suspense of playing God?

In fact, I think the above is the profound dilemma God has been facing throughout the ages. The answer to this question is not so easy; it involves many facets of love, free will, knowledge, and life growth. I will begin by defining some of the specific terms and conclude with my humble suggestion to resolve such dilemma.

  1. The core of the dilemma lies between respecting the beloved’s free will and the loving one’s self-examined knowledge. On the one hand, the loving one understand that the decisions and behaviors of the beloved is meaningless unless they are made out of independent and free will. On the other hand, the loving one also need to humbly examine his or her own motives and knowledge: Whether the loving one’s motives is purely for the life growth of the beloved or impurely for the comfort of the self? Whether the loving one possess absolutely superior knowledge over the beloved and the situations or not?
  2. To justify the act of perfecting, healing, rectifying, or changing another human being requires pure love and heart without any fleshly entanglements.  The usual reason for the so-called “healing, ” “perfecting, ” and “converting” are self-comforting, self-justification, and self-centered, not genuinely respecting the beloved’s free will and not caring for the beloved’s spiritual growth.
  3. A spiritually mature person would posses genuine humility due to the awareness that his or her wisdom, spiritual power, superior knowledge, and love are graces and gifts from God, not from himself or herself.
  4. The genuine healing and conversion happens within a person’s heart and mind by himself or herself, potentially or mysteriously by God’s grace, but definitely not by any external factors. The genuine healing and conversion happens in a loving, safe, defenseless, and receiving atmosphere, and it is the mature one’s responsibility to facilitate and utilize such atmosphere.
  5. The resolution, in my humble opinion, is to always accommodate, cover, and endure, making no attempt to heal or convert others. The mature person need to learn to to be patient, long-suffering, and meek, waiting for the right moment. Attempts to heal and convert at the wrong moment usually would result in failures or futility.
  6. Teaching, rectification, shepherding should be proceeded under the shepherded one’s consent and will, which have to obtained by love and recognition, and acceptance.  Any attempt to heal, change, or convert without such consent would be proven futile and useless.
  7. In the end, only a mature person would havesolid and unchanging burden and love for others’ spiritual growth yet do so out of a pure and humble heart. He or she must find the balance between these two ends.
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