They’ll know we are Christians by our love. That’s how it’s supposed to be, right? You don’t have to look too far in our society today to find the complete antithesis to should-be Christian behavior. Sadly, it’s all too often found within church walls. If you are an LGBT Christian brother or sister, you likely have no trouble finding heartbreaking examples of condemnation, exclusion, and sometimes, even hate. Some of us have even faced it, ourselves. People who say hurtful things are ultimately driven by one thing: fear. That fear may stem from tradition, from blind faith, from ignorance, or simply from a lack of desire to search for truth. Within the topic of homosexuality, a Christian who acts out of fear is likely to do unfathomable harm to the spirit of another.
The question is: how do we respond? We may be victimized by unjust prejudice… but what happens after? How do we react to these people who have mistreated us on an emotional and spiritual level? If we look at the life of Jesus, the answer is love. For those of us who are LGBT Christians, responding in lovingkindness is of utmost importance. Here are a few things to remember:
We are all on a journey. Not everyone is at the exact same place. Not you. Not me. That’s because we are constantly changing and growing by God’s Spirit. Be gracious with one another as we learn to exist in love together.
God meets you where you are. No matter what side of the fence you’re on regarding this issue, chances are you’ve asked yourself at least once, “What if I’m wrong?” Be liberated in the fact that God holds you in His hand. You are not required to know everything! Isn’t that good news? He will reveal truths to you in His own good timing… and the process isn’t the same for everyone. We are all so complex—such intricate and diverse creations! God doesn’t work the exact same in every person’s life. We differ from one another, so His work in us and through us will differ, as well.
There are churches and straight allies who will love you. Sometimes it can get lonely… especially if you feel as though no one understands you. Please know that there are people out there just like you. You have a family… even if you haven’t met them yet. You also have a divine purpose. Someone out in the world needs to hear your story! Be faithful in the life that God has given you. He will do amazing things with those who are willing.
The bottom line is biblical and simple: “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Is it the easy way? Not at all. I wish it were! But it is the most fruitful and productive way to live together in unity, and the result will be worth it! Let’s do the best we can to be the kingdom of heaven here on earth.