Wesley Hill has a stunning new piece up on the Spiritual Friendship blog today. We can sometimes become so preoccupied trying to understand our thorns in the flesh that we lose sight that we are commanded to do battle with the flesh. In this most recent post, Hill reflects on ways the process of sanctification might work, particularly in same-sex-attracted believers acutely sensitive to the beauty of the human form of their own gender.
The ultimate way to do battle with sexual temptation can’t be to turn away from the human; it must be to struggle for a kind of purified gaze, to try to rediscover what erotic desire is for in the first place. . . .
Chastity isn’t about a turn away from the human, a refusal to meet the eyes of others out of fear of temptation or contamination. Resisting sexual temptation — or, putting it positively, pursuing the ascesis of sexual purity — is instead about turning toward others in a love that’s no less real for not resulting in sex. And it can be breathtakingly beautiful.
As I wrote in my comment on the site: “Just as ‘turning toward others’ in love borne out of purity can be ‘breathtakingly beautiful,’ your description of pursuing sexual purity—especially in relation to our fellow bearers of the imago Dei—is exquisite. Thank you so much, Wesley, for helping us better understand what it is we’re pursuing through the process of sanctification and ways God will work that sanctification in us. You are a blessing.” Join me in reading and savoring Hill’s words—and if they touch you as they did me, leave him a thank-you.
Original post: “Nothing is as Beautiful as a Human Being”