As people of faith, we can feel compelled to help people change – to save them, to convert them. The way we usual go about this is, we argue, try to convince, preach, coerce, nag, worry, etc.
But let me ask you something.
How’s that working out for you?
I think it my be time to try something new, you know, like LOVING them. Loving them because God loves them. Not because of their good behavior or something they did for you. Loving them unconditionally.
Just be a good friend.
What are the characteristics of a good friend? They can be found here:
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8
“ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
You see that it doesn’t say “love is patient when so and so takes my advice” or “love keeps no record of wrongs except when it doesn’t feel up to it” etc.
The Catholic Church has some excellent, concrete things we can do to be Jesus to others:
I want to zero in on “admonish sinners”, because that doesn’t sound very nice, does it? Well that is because part of being a good friend is willing the best for another and may sometimes involve uncomfortable confrontation.