To love another with their best interests at heart that is true love. To love them in a way that sets them free to become a better version of themselves, that allows them to reach out and fly. Not to manipulate or try to retain but to encourage and nurture in trust and respect. To let them know you will always be there by their side, for better or worse even though you may not agree with all their decisions. To love them like God loves us, unconditionally, always, no matter what, come what may. I wish to love like that too. I wish to love my family like that, my friends, and everyone around me. Too many people condemn, judge, criticize and so so few just love. I want to love exhuberantly, undescribably, without any reason , and just because. People don´t understand that kind of love sometimes and for me its sad. They think you have a hidden agenda when in truth you only want to love them, support them, be their true friend. I find it sad that in this jaded world true unconditional love is met with suspicion instead of gratitude but I will not let that deter me. I know what I was put on this earth for and that is to love and to serve.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
-Romans 5:8 NKJV
I believe one of the biggest lies we believe is that we need to be perfect and flawless in order to be loved. I feel as though if I’m not perfect people will judge me and not want to be around me; more importantly I feel as though if I’m not perfect God won’t love me.
But the truth is God loved us while we were still sinners. We don’t have to be perfect in order for Him to love us.
As for other people, I may be wrong, but I know I cover things up. I want to be seen as that “Christian” that has everything all together; that never sins and completely and wholly loves God. But honestly I’m just a broken vessel . A sinner saved by grace. A Christian afraid people will see my brokenness and judge me. To believe the lie that we need to hide our sin and failures would contradict this Scripture:
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
-James 5:16 NKJV
Now I’m not saying that means we need to tell everyone our sins. Ultimately we need to confess to Christ first. But if you’re living in fear and shame that someone might find out what you’ve done, I believe you need to find fellow believers that you trust and tell them what’s been going on in order to be released from the fear and shame of people finding out we’re not perfect. Scripture says we should do this in order to be healed and so that others can pray for us.
“And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”
-I Corinthians 12:26 NKJV
We are all members of one body in Christ. We are all sinners saved by grace through repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. That doesn’t mean we won’t mess up now and again. That doesn’t mean we’re perfect or have to be in order to be loved.
I am no preacher, but I feel so strongly about this, and I want everyone to hear this. This is to those who are discriminatory towards those who are different to them, especially people who claim to be Christians. This is to those who are trying to understand the most important aspect of Christianity. This is to those who have been told that God doesn’t love them for who they are or for something they did. This is to those who have been pushed so far away from the Church, that they don’t want any part of Christianity. This is to everyone, because it’s so amazing to me how God just loves us all through everything.
God loves you, even when you can’t love yourself. This was proven even further when Jesus straight up died on a cross, taking the burden of all of our sins. Ever since that indescribable moment happened, we would no longer have to be tied to our sins, and instead be forgiven. It says in 1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” That’s how much Jesus loves you, and no one on Earth could love you like Jesus does. Yes, Jesus was the one who died on the cross for all of us, but it was God who sent him. God gave his one and only son, Jesus Christ, to the world because he loved it so much, making it so that whoever believed in Jesus could have eternal life. (John 3:16)
I need to go deeper into the meaning of John 3:16, because it will bring me to my next point. God loves you endlessly. It doesn’t matter if you are male, female, black, white, straight, gay, poor, or rich. Even if you’ve screwed up a lot in your life, He still loves you nonetheless. He loves us all when we are at our darkest points. (Romans 5:8) Anyone who professes their faith in Jesus will have eternal life. We see this verse everywhere, whether it’s in football, sweet frog cups, instagram bios, but do we really remember it’s meaning, especially the last part? During my few years as a Christian, even before, I have witnessed people receiving, or have heard about people receiving comments about them going to hell for something. One instance of this is how so many people in our churches have been told that they were going to hell, because of their sexual orientation. This is what breaks my heart, people being pushed away from the church, thinking that God no longer loves them, when really, he loves us all so much, no matter who we are or what we have done. There is nothing on Earth that is capable of separating us from the love of God. Unless you didn’t profess your faith in God, or didn’t state your belief that Jesus died on the cross for everyone’s sins, you aren’t going to hell. That is the one sin that is unforgivable.
There were numerous instances where Jesus was with the undesirable, the outcasts of society. In John chapter 4, he interacts with a Samaritan woman. During this time, the Jewish people did not like the Samaritans. They were seen as foreigners, and were not treated well. Despite how the majority felt about the Samaritans, Jesus went out of his way and decided to start a dialogue with this woman. This just truly shows how God cares about everyone so deeply, no matter who you are. We too should love the outcasts. Jesus also ended up eating dinner with tax collectors and adulterers. (Matthew 9:13)
God loves everyone, and because of that, Christians, and honestly everybody, whether you are religious or not, should follow the greatest commandment: love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:31). Anyone who loves has that love come straight from God. (1 John 4:7) Anyone who loves and follows this commandment clearly knows God. Yes, we live in a sinful world, but love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8) If we all loved everyone around us, just imagine how wonderful the world would become. The creator of the heaven, Earth, and the mountains loves each and every one of us. He knows us all by name, and most importantly, came to Earth to show us how we should love one another. We are all one in Jesus Christ, (Galatians 3:28) so why do we act like some are not loved by Him? The way he loves each of us goes deeper than the ocean, and it keeps going. God truly loves every one of us, and if that is all you get out of hearing this, that is okay.
and then there was me, a queer girl in the catholic church with traditional parents. i grew up with a fingernail caught in my throat. i changed the words to songs so i’d be singing about boys. i was scared of “gay”. my mother told me it meant happy but i knew it meant being pushed to the floor of the bus. i remember my bible school teacher telling us that the greatest sin a woman can have is not giving a man her love. i remember realizing i liked girls and putting it in a box i labelled dirty and couldn’t bring myself to touch. when i came out i had to ask if my parents still loved me, like the idea of their acceptance ended where my sexuality began. they pull back when i accidentally slip and admit i like a girl. they promise the church doesn’t hate us, just doesn’t let us get married under god’s roof with god present. oh it’s a fine marriage, we accept it, but technically in the eyes of the church i’m living in sin. it would be better if i liked men. when i was 7 i was sure i was going to unhappily marry a man just to make my parents happy. at 23 i might marry a man just to make my parents happy.
god was this hard thing we couldn’t figure out how to handle. god came beyond the doors of the church. my god answered me at night but reminded me to cower. my god killed my brothers and sisters in the hands of others. how am i to reconcile that god that felt like love and belonging with the god called down in conversion camps. how am i to say i love the light of god when i have seen it burn the flesh of others.
i watch it still. for a while i was spitting and hissing and wouldn’t let god near me. i think it was better then, when i had shut my doors to the idea of it. once i tried to find god again i found myself desperately lost in the forest.
i was always so alone in church. always different. it wasn’t until i mentioned it once in an online chat that i found someone else who had gone through the same thing. how terrible, to form a community of people who have all been cast out. how powerful.
we, together, discussing at two a.m if god is real and if she is where she begins and ends. my brothers and sisters and family - we are all so strong for having survived this. for having been spat out by what should have accepted us. that first community. that first slap. the book that taught us not all books are homes. the book that i spent hours combing over looking for where my flaws were entombed. that curse that keeps following us, doggedly, just when we thought we shook it off - watching others take god as an excuse to punish us, to put into law our discrimination, to enact and enforce violence against us. “god loves you,” we were told. is this what god looks like? our first relationship with abuse?
i am stuck with an eternity of questions. can we find our own god? can we find her in each other? do we leave god entirely, and just find love in the stories of us lost lambs? is god worth it? was the word of god really to ruin us? is god even to blame for any of this, or is this how humans are when they find something to hit?
all i know is this: i am not alone. and if you’re like me, come to me. talk. i’ll listen. god only knows nobody else did.
God is Good! God’s Promises are never wavering. No matter how bad it looks, or impossible or unlikely it seems to come. It will. God is way too powerful to just back out on His Promises. Stop giving into fear of failure. Start leaning on God’s Strength and not your own. It is by God’s Grace and Strength you are saved and helped, not yours. Fear God, Love God more, put everything inside and outside in His Hands and invite Him into your everyday life.
When we sin it doesn’t stop God from loving us. But sin does disrupt the relationship we have with God. So when you’re making the choice to sin or not, it’s not about whether or not God will hate you for it. It’s really about whether the choice to sin is more important than your relationship with God.
About a year ago, I had to read a book for my school’s summer reading assignment called
How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster. It’s not a bad book, pretty decent actually, but there was this one chapter about sex scenes in literature. And one of the first sentences was along the lines of “writing sex is boring.”
and I did a double-take. Bc in my experience, that is absolutely not the case, and if you do find yourself bored while writing smut, then you’re not doing it right. See, Thomas’s main argument was that there’s only so many ways you can write sex scenes, because there’s only so many sex acts you can choose from. (My boy Thomas is clearly a vanilla dude, but let’s not hold that against him.)
But one of the most important things to keep in mind while writing smut is that it’s not necessarily just about the act itself. So while Thomas is right that there are limits as to how many ways ppl can have sex, he failed to realize that writing sex is about a LOT more than that. And I’m gonna prove it to you.
That is why the Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or - if they think there is not - at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside of him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us; just as the roof of a greenhouse does not attract the sun because it is bright, but becomes bright because the sun shines on it.
We had a interim pastor, and her whole sermon was on Charlottesville. She went on about how painful this all is. How God is in the silence, not in the brutal violence. That we should pray for the victims. Then, all of a sudden, something sparked in her and she called out the congregation saying:
“We are almost all white here, and I know that we are guilty of being silent. Silent when we enslaved. Silent when we destroyed black neighborhoods. Silent when there is police brutality. Silent when our relatives and friends spout bigotry. We cannot be so self righteous. The truth is, we aren’t doing enough. God may love us, but we are not God’s people yet.”
I think I experienced the Holy Spirit through that woman. I need to do more.