Look, Love, and Challenge

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We all want to speak the truth with love and walk the line between being a habitual enabler and a judging Pharisee. In the Gospels, Jesus carried out this task of admonishing the sinner with three steps: looking, loving, and challenging.

Look - see the person as they truly are, with full acknowledgement of their wrongdoing.
Love - remember that they are loved and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
Challenge - challenge them to do better for themselves, which will ultimately make them happier.

We see these steps in action in John 8:3-11, when Jesus interacts with the woman caught in the act of adultery.

“...and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.’ ”

When Jesus meets the woman caught in adultery, he looks her in the eye, shows her compassion and mercy, and then challenges her by saying, “go, and do not sin again.”

This method of truth spoken in love (look, love, and challenge) is a great way to carry out the spiritual work of mercy of admonishing the sinner.

For more tips on admonishing the sinner, check out Fr. Josh’s podcast episode, Admonishing the Sinner, Regretting Abortion, and Marriage in Heaven at ascensionpress.com/askfrjosh

“Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie.” -St. Edith Stein (source)

56 episodes available. A new episode about every 6 days averaging 4 mins duration .