“Beware lest we mistake our prejudices
for our convictions.”
— William Hazlitt
My four-year-old niece, Andrea, asked if I’d like to see her guinea pig. She led me to the cage and quickly announced, “We don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl because it squeaks high and it squeaks low.”
Some of the most interesting and heated conversations I’ve had with people on Facebook have concerned the issues of same-sex marriage and the trend toward educating kids about homosexual relationships. And I admit that I have not always handled those opportunities as Jesus probably would have.
I usually begin with, “I have many gay and lesbian friends, and I love them all dearly, BUT …” Then depending on my mood, the way my day is going, and my energy level at the moment, I either respond or react, usually to my own detriment and without resolving the “problem.”
Then I sign off, sit back and think about my out-of-the-closet friend Jon — a loveable, gracious and easy-going guy who, I’m convinced, will always love and encourage me no matter what. I think about Jackie, who grew up with me and always seemed like a “tom boy.” Her marriage ended in divorce early on and she has enjoyed the company of girlfriends ever since. Then there’s Randy and Doug. I don’t know them well, but their many talents are well known in our local theater community. And of course, Liz and Diane, who are the very responsible parents to an adorable, adopted, little girl.
I often ask God to shed light on the subject of sexuality for me, and I’m reminded of the saying, “The teacher is always quiet during the test.” So I watch relevant documentaries, and I look to Scripture – to the actions and words of mentor Jesus, and to the wisdom shared by men who spent time with God in the flesh.
Jesus demonstrated kindness and compassion toward people who were discriminated against and hated. He recognized the influence of demonic activity in men who behaved in ways that were culturally incorrect and frightening to the folks of that day. He touched the physical and emotional sores of disgustingly diseased men and women and spoke with those whose reputations were stained by unfortunate life choices and generally accepted cultural norms. He chastised people who used religion and political correctness as barbed-wire-like barriers of self-protection.
When he spoke to his best friend, John, about the new Jerusalem, where all who enter will live in peace for eternity, Jesus said: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Revelation 22: 14-15).
That’s a pretty large database! And I’m sure that I, and my rusty armor, would be included, if Jesus had not offered Himself as a sacrifice and His blood as payment to buy back my soul from Satan, the landlord of this sin-filled earth. When I stand before the throne of the Lamb (Revelation 7:9), I will wear a white robe, symbolizing purity and holiness – not because of anything that I have done to earn it, but because of what Jesus did for me.
It has occurred to me that Andrea didn’t care whether her guinea pig was a boy or a girl. She loved it anyway.
“Behold, I am coming soon!
My reward is with me,
and I will give to everyone
according to what he has done.”
— Jesus (Revelation 22:12)
A RUST REMOVER …
If you are different, somehow socially unacceptable, displeasing to the eyes of other flawed humans, know that Jesus loves you just the way you are. But when you accept Him as Savior and Lord of your life, He will change you from the inside out, in ways you never imagined possible.