We cannot love someone with just the ends in mind. To that same extent, we cannot love someone with complete disregard for the ends. Parents know this very well. When a child wants to go outside in the middle of winter without a coat, the parent does not disregard the consequences of such actions. Likewise, a parent does not disregard their child’s immediate safety for a later good. Like leaving their young child in the car while running into a department store. Getting home sooner, but at what cost?
We cannot give up being loving for either the ends or the means without giving up love completely. Unity is a great ends that oftentimes is used to prevent us from truly loving. One cannot unify with a hateful action to achieve love. Abortion is a great example. The child in the womb is bringing a division because of the situation the child is being born into, whether it be a teen mother, unwilling father, or anything else.
Compassion is what is needed when the means appear difficult. Compassion means to suffer with. Those who think that assisted suicide is compassionate do not know the meaning of the word. We do not claim to be God so as to claim masters of our own existence. We did not create ourselves, so how could we claim the authority to kill ourselves? God alone has that authority and right.
Of course, these are large issues, but truly love, both in the means and the ends, is something that we need to do in the small things too. Oftentimes, to create unity we are silent about our faith. Yes, there are times to be quiet, but we need to discern whether the most loving action is our silence or our voice. Those who know how we feel and how we believe do not need to be reminded every time, for example. Either way, just asking “Jesus lead me” when these times arise can enlighten us to the most loving action.