On Kierkegaard’s “Christian Love”

I was reading Kierkegaard earlier today whilst waiting for a file to work on. A friend gave me a copy of an e-book of Provocations, and I read about “seeing the person you love.” It simply means loving the person you love, not despite his faults and weaknesses, but with his faults and weaknesses.

Well I went on to read that e-book to find some answers, and I ended up with more questions. It’s about this passage in particular:

“Alas, we talk about finding the perfect person in order to love him. Christianity teaches us that the perfect person is the one who limitlessly loves the person he sees. We humans always look upward for the perfect object, but in Christ love looks down to earth and loves the person it sees. If then, you wish to become perfect in love, strive to love the person you see, just as you see him, with all his imperfections and weaknesses. Love him as you see him when he is utterly changed, when he no longer loves you, when he perhaps turns indifferently away or turns to love someone else. Love him as you see him when he betrays and denies you. Love the person you see and see the person you love.”

If this is the case, how then does one differentiate stupidity and martyrdom from this love? I am not saying that Christian love is stupid and only for martyrs, but how do you know if it’s enough? Or maybe there is no “enough” in Christian love? Maybe love stops when you think it’s stupid and when you feel so victimized that you feel like a martyr? But then martyrs never feel like martyrs, do they? This is all going in over my head. All I that know is that I love someone who has utterly, drastically changed; someone who I know does not love me; someone who always turn indifferently away; someone who turns to love someone else. I love someone who betrayed me and denied me. I love this person I see, and I see this person I love. And if this is perfect love, how does one stop?


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