Purpose




Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace





Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What would you say?

   I am part of a ministry, Hope For Wholeness,  that helps people with unwanted same-sex attractions. It is an awesome ministry, and I have been privileged to go to a couple of their conferences. I met some great people, was encouraged, and given an immense shot of hope. To deal with an issue like this, and get around other Christians who are in your shoes..... there are no words to describe how that feels, and how helpful it is.

   One of those people I met at these conferences is "Matthew". Matthew is a lot younger than I am, and God has done some amazing things in his life in the last few years. I keep in contact with him through social media, and he has been a great encouragement to me as I see what God has done and is doing for him. He is one of those people I believe God is going to use in some great ways.

 Last night he posted something on one of the Facebook groups we are in that I am posting here, with his permission. In addition to changing his name, I also edited some information to help him remain incognito:

  It's hard to describe how tough life has been for me lately. Ever since a friend of mine died things have kept tearing away at me and crushing my joyful spirit. Another friend was injured seriously and is in serious condition. Shortly after I found out about my friend, someone at work approached me and informed me that my Christian coworkers were gossiping about how I was gay. A day after that a friend  told me he wants nothing to do with God, and he's embracing being gay. I'm dealing lot more with loneliness since most of my straight friends are in relationships. It feels like like its been one thing after another and I'm so exhausted. I continue to go to church every Sunday but I feel like I'm not hearing God's voice anymore. I'm struggling with doubting His goodness, because of all the tragedy that's been happening around me.


 If you knew Matthew and he came to you with the above statements, what would you say? How would you react?

Would you tell him it is his fault for "choosing to be gay?" Some would.

Would you tell him to just pray more? That is a common response.

Would you tell him there must be sin in his life that he hasn't confessed? There are Christians who would believe that and say that.

Would you tell him we all have tough times, and it will get better?

Would you tell him you'd be praying for him, and then walk away?

What would you say to him?




   I know what it is like to deal with some of what he mentioned. I also know how the devil works. So, though Matthew didn't say this, I can guarantee some of what the devil is saying to him right now:

"You'd be better off to embrace your sexuality. God won't care, and you wouldn't be lonely anymore"

"No one cares about you, not even God."

"It isn't fair that your straight friends have someone to love, and you don't. Go for it...find a boyfriend and enjoy life."

"All Christians are judgmental bigots. You'd be better off without them."


 What did I say? My first reply was "No advice here. .. just want to say I love and appreciate you Matthew....and will be praying extra hard for you"

 Then I messaged him this morning with this:

 " Hey, hope you're feeling better about things this morning. It is rough at times, but some day it will be worth it...... if not here, in eternity. So keep the faith. You have a lot of people rooting for you who love you and know what it is like. We aren't your heterosexual friends who haven't a clue....we have more than a clue.

   And yeah, it would be nice if we had these friends around us all of the time instead of just a few days a year. I get lonely. I wish many times I could have the fellowship and encouragement of the HFW conference weekly..... but I don't. And it has got to be worse for you at your age. Don't quit. Use this time to drive you closer to God. We tend to let things come between us and God and He hasn't moved........it is just sometimes so hard to see Him through all of the crap.... but He is there, and loves us beyond anything we can ever imagine. Being a Christian isn't always easy, whether we have SSA or not. If it wasn't this issue, it would be something else. At least I keep telling myself that ๐Ÿ™‚"



  We who deal with this issue are broken. There are a lot of opinions and theories about what causes it. I personally am not a fan of the "born that way" idea, but it doesn't really matter one way or another. It is still brokenness. And though we are all broken in some way, this is a very tough form of brokenness to have.

  It is difficult being single while watching others date and fall in love. Many of us know we can never have that, and it shouldn't be our aim in life to fall in love and marry anyway. Serving God and pleasing Him should be our main goal in life, but it is natural to want love,  marriage, and a family.

  It is lonely. After you hit a certain age, all of your friends are dating or married, and then there is you. You have no one, other than family. Or at least it seems that way.

   The devil fights all of us, and uses our weaknesses against us. When you are dealing with something that so many Christians don't understand, like same-sex issues, the devil has a huge arsenal to use against you.

  So in closing, I ask you to pray for my friend. If you call him Matthew, God will know who you are talking about. You can even call him "Mark's friend." This is a young man serving God and not giving into the sexual temptations and desires that course through him. He is going through some very discouraging times, and has been hit from all sides.



   And the thing is, we all  know a "Matthew." The issue may not be same-sex attractions. It may be some other difficult struggle that no one knows of, or does know about. If one of these people came to you and confessed something like Matthew has told us, what would you say and do? Christianese and platitudes don't work. They may make you feel better, but they won't help the person needing love and prayer.

   If I lived close to Matthew, I'd take him out to eat and maybe shopping. I'd let him talk, and try to listen and not say much. I'd hug him....several times. I'd pray with him. I'd do all I could to help him know he is not alone and he is loved.

   We are surrounded by hurting and struggling people, but we as a church rarely take the time to notice and do anything about it. There is also the fact that we don't always know. I sat in the church pew hurting for years, bleeding on the inside. I was lonely, hurting, wishing at times I'd never been born, and having no clue how to handle these feelings I had. I lived constantly with the fear of people finding out my secret, and of the fallout if that happened. And now here I am talking about it openly on my blog. Go figure.

 If someone crosses your mind, pray for them. If you see someone who seems discouraged, reach out. It could make a difference in someone's life, and you may even save a life. And pray for "Matthew."




If We Are the Body, song by Casting Crowns.

It's crowded in worship today
As she slips in trying to fade into the faces
The girls teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know
Farther than they know

But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way

A traveler is far away from home
He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgmental glances
Tells him that his chances are better out on the road

But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way

Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ

But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is away?
There is a way

But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
Jesus is the way

1 comment:

  1. Hey man, great read. I'll pray for your mate ๐Ÿ‘

    ReplyDelete