I have been really doing some soul searching lately about my life. Where I fall short, where I can improve and although there are days I would rather run back into the arms of distractions, that don’t require me to think too much or listen to my own soul’s voice, I know that I need to stop hiding.
A few truths that I would rather not be true, but never the less are include:
1.) I care too much what people think of me.
I still find myself hiding parts of myself that would make others uncomfortable. I also find myself staying disengaged from parts of life, because I know it will make me uncomfortable. Sometimes I share only what I must to seem engaged but stop just short of really putting myself out there. As a gay man, who also is a Christian, I allow the opinions of others carry too much weight, who in truth, I may never be able to win over any way. They have already passed judgement on me and look at me with that disapproval look and whisper behind my back with both sympathy and venomous judgmentalism. So why do I care so much? There is only one who I should seek to please, and He is the only one that truly knows me and my heart, anyway.
Actual truth: There is one who loves me with an everlasting Love and to Him, I am his beloved. He knows my heart, better than even I and it is Him that I seek to please and I already have his approval, because he died and shed His own blood for me that I might Live!
2.) Faith is hard
Some think you cannot be gay and a Christian. Well you can but its not necessarily easy. Many in the church will say it is not possible, but fortunately the church doesn’t get to create Hell or heaven for whomever they like. I understand its easier for them, if we didn’t exist (gay Christians) but we do and they have come too late to convince me that I do not have a place at the table. Now in truth, I used to believe the same as they do. This led to years of pain, suffering and beating myself up with shame and fear. What changed, you might ask? Well God would not leave me alone and though the Holy Spirit, and refusal to answer my prayer for change, demonstrated in no uncertain terms that I was loved, accepted and a part of the family. So I make no apologies for my faith nor do I try to convince everyone of its validity, they are not my judge or savior. There is another group that has a hard time with my faith as well, and that is my fellow LGBTQ family. I understand many of their struggles with faith too. They have been abused, judged and hurt by the church. The church has failed us all more than it has fulfilled its true purpose and mission. I can’t convince then either. I only know what is true for me and I pray and hope they will find in God the Love and Grace that is abundantly available for all. In truth Society and modern life doesn’t make it easy, but in truth life isn’t easy for anybody, that’s why we all need a savior.
3.) I fail more than I succeed
Sin is an ugly word. A word that for me carried shame, and condemnation for many years. But if we unpack its weighty baggage, it simply means “missing the mark’ or “falling short of God’s best for our lives”. None of us own the monopoly for this kind o failure. I have found the secret to a successful Christian life is in spite of our failures, mistakes or lies we tell ourselves and each other to keep coming to Christ an allow the truth of His Love, Forgiveness to set us and things aright. This is what a savior does, he saves us from ourselves and makes things right. I try to do right and sometimes I ever succeed but many times I do not. It is always easier to judge others for their “sin” and overlook our own “weaknesses” but we are commanded Not to Judge others however we are commanded to search and look into our own hearts.
Actual Truth: Our failures do not surprise God, that is why God made a provision for them.
4.) Looking for Love-in all the wrong places (cue country music-Not!)
We all crave love belonging and acceptance. We crave this not because we are depraved but because we were created for relationships, love, acceptance and belonging. However in a world of dating apps, hookup culture, fast food, we can easily get distracted and off track. This is a human condition and not unique to gay Christians. How many straight friends and love ones do I know that have gotten off track as well. There is only one place to find true Love and that is in Christ. Then, he will help you set up all other relationships in your life in a healthy context.
Actual Truth: Any Love we place before our one true love will always fail us.
Ok, that is enough confession for now, and I hope you find inspiration for your life as well in my words. May God’s Grace life you up and may God’s peace keep you!