CS Lewis insists in The Problem of Painthat not only is love not mere kindness, but that kindness is “the opposite pole from love.”

Kindness “cares not whether its object becomes good or bad, provided only that it escapes suffering.” Love, by contrast, “demands the perfecting of the beloved.” Only when we care nothing for people do we “demand happiness on any terms: with our friends, our lovers, our children, we are exacting and would rather see them suffer much than be happy in contemptible and estranging moods.”

Love is patient. It “may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them.” But patience is not toleration of flaws or weaknesses: “Love cannot cease to will their removal.”

More on: Theology

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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