Recently, a family friend, a Christian, came out. As a fellow Christian, I could have seen this as a complicated sequences of events that were mine to judge or to make commentary on; to closely examine and then to discard. Much ado is made nowadays about the state of a person’s sexual identity, and as Christians, we are told by Pat Robertson that gay people are “terrorists” (well, if I watched Pat Robertson…).
If I allowed Pat Robertson to speak for me, I would look like the craziest person in the world.
I allow scripture to speak for me instead: 1 Corinthians 12:4-8 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
What is MY truth?
What is written on MY flag, what am I putting out into the world as my message?
John 3:16 “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Not: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, but only for straight people.”
Not: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, but only for people who could hide themselves and their sin adequately.”
Not: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son for those who don’t make anyone uncomfortable, for those who are the same as you.”
Romans 3: 23-24 says: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”
I am a sinner.
YOU are a sinner.
WE are all sinners! And that is why we need to lift each other up, closer to grace, closer to the light of God, closer to our goal of heaven.
If I compare my sin to yours, and say, “Yes, I may be a liar, but YOU, you are a shoplifter!”, I am missing the point entirely.
If I compare my sin to yours, and say, “I may be a gossip and a divisive person, but YOU, you are a homosexual!”, I am missing the point entirely.
Because NOT A ONE OF US DESERVES THE GIFT OF HEAVEN AT THE END OF THIS LIFE.
There is no way to get to it but through the help of Jesus, and through His love and compassion for us, through the Cross and Resurrection.
There is no way to see heaven but to fall helpless at his feet and admit, “I am a sinner. I do not deserve Heaven. I do not deserve your Love. Help me, Jesus, to love you and everyone here, and to need you more!”
This is how I must operate, out of love, compassion, and an admission that I am a sinner, too! : John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
If the flag of my heart were to fly high, for all to see, what would be on it? The cross, a heart, a smile, a hug? As a Christian, what is my burden, what do I place at the feet of Jesus?
If we wrap our arms around one another, it is ever so much easier to get to heaven.
When we lie to ourselves about our own sin and its consequences, we shorten and corrupt the grace that has already been offered us by Jesus’ death and resurrection.
When we ignore the log in our own eye, and point out the splinter in someone else’s eye, we fly the flag of hypocrisy under the name of Christianity, and we shorten and corrupt the grace that could flow through us, to all who are around us.
Love conquers all:
1 John 4:8: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.…”
What is on YOUR flag? What are you projecting to the world?
Whom have you “decided” to love?