Love relates to the other person as he or she really is, weaknesses included. But true love, in contrast with the brief infatuation of the moment, has to do with truth and thus relates to the truth of the other person, a truth that may well be undeveloped, concealed, or disfigured. Of course, love always includes an inexhaustible willingness to forgive; yet forgiveness presupposes the recognition of sin for what it is: sin.
Forgiveness means healing, while approval of evil would mean destruction, really an acceptance of the sickness and therefore of something that would explicitly not be good for the other. This becomes immediately clear if we consider the case of a drug addict who has become the prisoner of his vice. True love will not give in to the distorted craving of such a sick person, to his willingness to poison himself, but will rather work toward his true happiness: it will do anything to heal the loved one of his addiction, even should it hurt and even against the blinded determination of the addict.
Another example: in a totalitarian system one may have saved one’s own skin and perhaps also one’s position, but only at the price of having betrayed a friend, and having betrayed one’s conscience and soul. True love is ready, to understand but not to approve and not to declare as inconsequential what cannot be approved or considered inconsequential.
Forgiveness follows its inner path: forgiveness is healing and so requires a return to the truth. Whenever forgiveness does not include this return, it amounts to accepting the other’s self-destruction, it acts contrary to the truth and therefore also to love.
From: Auf Christus schauen, pp. 92f