A few days back, the Philippines’ social media made noise on both Manny Pacquiao and Yeng Constantino’s stand on homosexuality. While I personally did not see anything wrong with what they said (same message but worded differently), their words were interpreted in another way, taken and bent out of context. I’ve read hundreds of hate comments floating around questioning their faith, their character and morality. Most were downright rude, below the belt and merciless. Comments that do not deserve to be said to anyone. It’s as if being judgmental and pointing at other people’s mistakes justifies our own righteousness. It’s wrong, regardless of what scripture we are using to combat the situation.
I don’t usually mind or respond to such negativity but this time, even if it’s not directed towards me, I got emotional and hurt. I was hurt because I have good and talented family members, friends, teachers who are gay or lesbians. I was hurt because I know that Jesus loves all of us, without bounds, limits or questions asked. And I was hurt because just like everyone else (gay or straight), I am a sinner too.
I grew up in a broken home. I have been through a season of running away, feeling unworthy and losing my identity. I have suffered and questioned the life, the family, and the chances that were dealt to me. And you know what, I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the people who chose to accept and love me despite the darkness I used to carry. They did not walk away or shove me aside because I’m different. Instead, they directed me to the only one that could bring change in my life, Jesus. And they continue to guide me until today. God chose to cut into my ungrateful heart to make me whole.[tweetthis]You can love AND not tolerate.[/tweetthis]
I believe that our role as Christians is to love people. Even if their lifestyle is different from ours. Even if their decisions are not right in our eyes. Not hate them. Definitely NOT change them. That is God’s job, not ours… and just because we choose to show compassion DOESN’T mean that we encourage them. Our calling is to share the truth of the Gospel and reflect that in our everyday lives. We want people to see Jesus when they see us. We want them to sense comfort in our presence, to make them feel like they can tell us anything without being judged and mocked on. That our words and opinions, even if it’s different from theirs, will be communicated in love. Above all, we want them to have a relationship with Jesus. Not turn away from Him out of fear from judgment of men.
We can only pray and hope that the love of the Lord, that relationship with Jesus, will transform them. That Christians would understand that the life of our LGBT family is just as important and meaningful as everyone else because God can turn their story into something beautiful and use that too for His glory.
Jesus is the definition of love and grace, and let’s not forget that he will never be found partial towards one person or another. You don’t have to agree with someone’s decisions in order to show them love. Many people forget this, and I believe this truth to be the very reason that Christians are looked at as judgmental and hypocritical. Many don’t know how to love people who are different from them. Isn’t that what the great commission is all about? Sharing hope with people who are different from you… – Jarrid Wilson