As a hetero guy/former homophobe who started attending LifeGuard Ministries because of a life-long friend with SSA, I assumed I’d be hearing some difficult stories. I very quickly affirmed my deeply held sense that how much of the church treats people with same sex attractions is not fair. Me and my garden variety opposite sex temptations were treated with great understanding and support at my church, but my friend who confessed same sex attraction issues was pretty much ostracized by most of our conservative church friends.
No great revelation there, I know. But, what did surprise me was how much I had to learn from God through my wonderful friends at LifeGuard Ministries. You see, while I understood that my sin was no worse than anybody’s with SSA, what I had not grasped was how deep my own smug sense of self-righteousness ran. Trust me, I can be way too quick to judge others.
Tullian Tchividjian writes in his book One Way Love that “Grace is unconditional acceptance given to an undeserving person by an unobligated giver.” Here I am struggling with my focus on behaviors (mostly others, but also mine), when out of the blue comes a statement like this. Not only am I an undeserving person myself, but our Father, out of His love for you and me, gives us unconditional acceptance even though He is certainly not obligated to do so.
Makes me feel like I unintentionally get myopic with my religious self… and end up throwing stones inside my glass house. I am so busted – but I am so much more blessed by the good news of the grace of God for all of us!
Ephesians 3:18 says “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” That’s become my prayer for everybody, not just those with SSA or whatever else is going on in our lives. Life is much more enjoyable living out of His grace!