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We tend to do things that make sense to us. And while we might not always be able to explain our reasoning, we often still give ourselves the benefit of the doubt – believing others would do the same thing if they were us. This, however, is not a grace we easily extend to others. But part of mature love is learning to identify with the heart behind others’ actions as well. 

For instance, we tend to offer more understanding and compassion for our own categories of sin, while struggling to understand and empathize with the ways others sin. 

As such, when people sin like us we’re quicker to extend grace. But we often vilify those whose sins seem so different from our own.

But the call to love remains the same. And part of love requires us to identify with them – to seek to understand the deep motivations of their heart, and not be so quick to simply write them off to evil. 

In taking on flesh, Christ now understands our weaknesses. While he did not sin, he is able to identify with those parts of us capable of sinning. And he serves as the example for us in our practice of love as well.

Can we identify with the weaknesses of those who commit the most unthinkable sins we can imagine?

With Christ, this is not approving of the sin itself. But it is identifying that part of us that is capable of doing the same thing. And the more we’re able to do this the more we’re able to move toward them in love. And we cannot love them as Christ when our pride keeps us from humbly seeking to understand. 

Of course, this plays out in every area of life as well – seeking to identify with the good, the bad, and the ugly in others empowers us to love them well. 

In the end, humble your pride and learn to identify with others in both their strengths and many shortcomings. The more you seek to understand their deep heart the more you are able to love them as Christ demonstrated his love for us.  

Photo by Aejaz Memon on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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