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Those we love still sin and cause us pain. And it’s often difficult to wrestle with both of these realities. But we’re all mixed bags of sinner and saint – capable of doing much good and screwing things up.

Perhaps we can see this easier within ourselves. We feel bad when we mess things up and seek to make amends whenever possible. And even though our sins have caused much harm, we know this has not diminished our love for the other.

Yes, we’ve caused pain AND we still love deeply. And somehow both of these realities exist at the same time.

However, this seems harder to accept on the receiving end. When we’re hurt by someone else’s sins we’re then tempted to question their love for us.

If they truly loved us how could they do something that causes us so much pain? 

In our pain, we often reduce them to simplistic all or nothing categories.

Either they love us and will never do anything to hurt us. Or they’ve caused us pain because they didn’t truly love us in the first place.

But the complexity we hold for our own heart is needed for them as well. And it’s possible they still love us deeply even when their sins cause much heartache and pain.

Without minimizing the impact and consequences of their sins, we don’t get to stop loving just because they’ve hurt us. And to be sure, love still calls us to hold them accountable for their sins. Love is not turning a blind eye or ignoring sins.

But accepting we’re all mixed bags of possibilities gives us the freedom to love well.

We’re not reduced to all or nothing categories and can still love passionately even through the messy realities of life and relationships.

Don’t minimize the presence of love even as you wrestle with the realities of sin. They often both exist at the same time.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato 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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