This is a rather personal post, not so much for me but definitely for the person I am writing about. This friend of mine has generously and graciously allowed me to share our interaction.
Because of her graciousness and vulnerability, I ask that if you don’t agree with the opinion I am about to express (you’re quite entitled not to) and you absolutely must comment, please maintain respect and love or your comment/s will be deleted.
A couple of months ago, I started chatting with an amazing young woman whom I shall call *Beth. We had briefly met before this chat, and move in the same social circles.
We had a lovely talk and it was clear that we connected on a ‘God level’.
As I went home that night, God gave me a prophetic word of encouragement for her that I messaged to her.
Her response to the word I sent was not what I was expecting….
The word I delivered was met with great relief.
In fact she responded with; “…..this is very different to what I thought it would say tbh, a very nice surprise!!!…..”
I was glad that it had encouraged her, but I was also curious: What had she been expecting?
It’s at this point I will mention that this precious young woman who is gifted with a myriad of talents and has a great love for God, also happens to be gay. That is her struggle, we all have one.
Her reply broke my heart. I cried. A lot.
She explained that she was expecting me to give her a word from God condemning her for being gay, because that’s what people have always done in the past.
I went on to tell her that I would never do that, her struggle as she refers to it, is between her and God!
Once I recovered from my tears, I was angry.
I was angry that Christians all too often have double standards. We categorise sin and we scale it against what we deem to be ‘harmless’ sins and what we believe to be drastic ‘deal breaker’ sins.
One of the biggest hurts for my friend, comes from a girl in Beth’s previous church, who would condemn Beth’s sexuality (even though Beth was celibate) whilst at the same time she herself was in a sexual relationship with her boyfriend.
If we are going to condemn people based on sin, can we at least use the same measuring stick?
Can we please grasp that Jesus paid the price for ALL sin, ONCE and for ALL! That the wages of sin is death and Jesus died that death for all sin. That the penalty for a murderer is the same as that of a slanderer….death.
If you are going to condemn Beth and send her a message about how God hates sin, can you send the same one to me? To yourself?
Can you grasp that the gossip shared ‘out of Godly concern’ is still gossip? That the ‘harmless, white lie’ told is still a lie?
No one should ever have to experience the anxiety and dread that rose up in Beth due to the fact that experience has taught her, that she well and truly needs her guard up around ‘well meaning’ Christians who think it’s their job to defend God!
God has not called us to defend Him.
He calls us to reconcile people to Him.
We have the GIFT of reconciliation! That means we connect people to the Father heart of God and walk alongside them. It is Him that transforms and directs transformations. Our job is to love.
For too long we have believed that the best way we can love people is to scare the hell out of them.
Is it working?
Maybe temporarily. But what healthy and balanced individual wants a relationship with someone based on the fact that the person they’re trying to connect with is petrified of them and the potential punishment they can dole out?
Why would God who IS perfect love want that?
Perfect love casts out fear.
It’s time to start living out perfect love!