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Relationships,  The rebel Jesus way

When he became a she – walking in love

walking in love blogThe other day, Zac and I went into a retail store and were greeted by an associate.

I soon recognized the associate as someone I used to go to church with years ago. Someone close to my age, who I had shared many years sitting next to in our small little church.

But, he had changed.

He was now a she.

I could tell my friend recognized me, but didn’t think I would recognize them. They helped me around the store and their hands were shaking almost uncontrollably the entire time.

I knew why.

They were afraid.

Afraid of what I might say if I caught onto who they were.

Afraid of seeing the shocked Christian look of horror on my face.

Afraid of my judgement or God knows what Bible verses I just might hurl at them.

Afraid of being shamed.

And it BROKE MY HEART.

I decided to end their torment and break the silence.

I looked up with a big smile and said, Hey! I know you!

My friend stood back a bit and sheepishly admitted I was right.

I smiled even bigger and said, It’s so good to see you.

We talked for a while…a long while actually. I asked about their family, parents, siblings and where they were living. They shared pictures of family and we laughed and talked about everyone we used to know.

After a while, it became more like two friends catching up than about a judgement fest.

I hugged my friend.

More than once.

I left that store with a pit in my stomach. And not for reasons you may think. My heart was aching because of what the church has done to people just like them.

Now, you may think, Wait a second, Anna. The Bible says…

I know very well what it says. And I cherish it. I’ve built my life on it.

Here’s the deal though.

The more time you spend with Jesus, the more you can’t help but start to act like Him. And, guess what?

He loves.

The sick.

The poor.

The religious.

The sinner.

He loves them all.

And not the kind of Christian love that says, “I’ll love you but never talk to you because I disapprove of your behavior”

No friends.

Jesus wasn’t intimidated by behavior.

He wasn’t afraid of behavior that society frowned upon (remember the adulterer stoning thing?)

Yeah, this is the guy we are supposed to be acting like.

If he wasn’t afraid of “sin”, we shouldn’t be either.

Jesus re-defined love. He radicalized it. He made any other kind look like a cheap imitator. And, this love is exactly what the world is starved for.

If I’m going to love like Jesus, then I don’t have the right to be uncomfortable. I don’t have the right to just walk away and ignore. I don’t have the right to think that I’m better than you because my perceived sin or “issue” isn’t as obvious and is kept hidden behind some false religious exterior.

If I am going to follow Him, then I can’t be afraid to jump in the mud with you. To walk beside you and learn your story. To feel your burdens as though they were my own. To listen…really listen.

Jesus was never uncomfortable.

But, he knew we would be.

That’s exactly why He left us THE comforter…the Holy Spirit.

The closer I walk with Him and the more in step I am with the Holy Spirit, the less I am afraid.

In fact, what I find I am fearing more is being without Him. I have grown so dependent on Him that the idea of not hearing him, terrifies me. It’s my life line.

When we left the store, Zac looked at me and said, How did you do that?!

I was like, Do what?

You were so normal! Didn’t you feel uncomfortable at all?

I’ll tell you what I told him.

All I felt was love.

Like, literally that’s it.

Love looks someone in the eye and sees what others don’t. And, the more I walk with Jesus the more normal and constant that is becoming.

Nothing mattered to me more in that moment that loving my friend. It’s like all of the crazy love, mercy, joy and kindness that Jesus has poured into me, was ready like a freaking freight train to come barreling out of me.

I didn’t see their perceived sin, issue, choices, whatever you want to call it. (I don’t know the right way to say that. Please, don’t send me hate mail over that sentence)

I saw a person. With a soul. With a story. A person I knew as a friend. Someone who I cared about.

That’s it.

Just simply love.

I can’t help but think, what a different world this could be if more people decided to really get to know Jesus. Like for real. Like at home, in their car, on their phone – just got to KNOW Him.

Because, when you get to know Him, you begin to become like Him. In the most natural, organic way. It isn’t forced. It isn’t difficult. It just becomes your normal.

(And, I am recklessly in love with the Jesus normal!)

We need more Jesus normal.

We need more conversations and less judgmental gossip (eh prayer) sessions.

We need more open arms and less closed circles.

We need more eye to eye contact and less recited speeches.

We need more people willing to serve. Willing to be humble and admit they are not perfect either.

We are broken and we need healing.

And it doesn’t start with comparing yourself to others thinking you are better – it begins when we humble ourselves before Him and admit we are nothing. When we finally come to the end of ourselves, that’s where He can begin.

And, that’s the strongest place to be.

So, here I am.

Completely imperfect. Completely in need of Jesus to work through me every single moment of every day. And completely convinced that He was and still is the ONLY answer to our brokenness.

(See follow up post on When to Speak the Truth in Love here)

Hugs.

Anna

*I’m all about healthy, respectful discussion from all sides on this topic. However, due to the amount of negative comments (many were deleted) towards others, the comments have been disabled.  Peace*

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Author. Blogger. Speaker. Momma to 4.

140 Comments

      • Sharon Baker

        Anna, I agree with your actions but what is becoming clear these days is that the Christian is the one that is being shown prejudice in most cases..The Bible is what people most fear, it is the word of God that condemns and it is Gods spirit that convicts, not the Christian. The minute you say you are a Christian, people automatically think you are prejudice against them, it is important that we make sure that the Christian view is one from Gods word not our feelings or opinions. I have to make the statement that I am only seeking Gods will for my life and I just try and live according to what the bible says. The Christian needs support right now, they are the ones that are being really beaten down, they are told they are haters and mean when in reality they choose their way because of what Gods word says for their life. I have a niece who is gay and it breaks my heart, I love her the same, but she shuns me and will not speak to me for she knows what I believe not for anything I have said or done. We can not make people feel good about their sin anymore than we can over look it. Not sure of how to overcome what others think and also to continue to live a God fearing life without controversy. I have never put someone down for their life choices instead I am put down for my life choices. Maybe you could write to the Christian about the judgement on them in this day an age. All of these micro=aggressions and lack of respect to one another are an example of our culture in liberal overload I can almost guarantee that a mature Christian would have never acted out against someone that did not agree with their choice, no most of us accept them openly and hope that they see Jesus and forgiveness not a condoning of their sin. We are all sinners, but it is getting to the point that no one can handle anyone not agreeing with them..

      • Kelly Roberts

        Sharon, I had to read your comment several times to get the whole picture but here is my take as one who doubts the existence of a higher power…for what it’s worth…Christians have, for many years, thrown stones at those who either don’t believe or sin differently than themselves. You put your faith in the power of a god who you believe Is a kind and loving God yet for those who don’t have that deep seeded faith, we only see a world that is full of angry judgmental people who tell us we are going to hell…wherever that is. I don’t judge others because I am too busy trying to live my life and set a good example for the next generation. You stated that Christians are being shown prejudice now but after years of showing prejudice and downing others for their choices, Christians are suddenly offended because they are being treated the same way. Do unto others…not trying to start an argument or offend anyone but step back and look at your statement and the statements being made by others who believe like you.

      • Summer

        Anna, I wish more people felt the same way that you do. I came out as TS a few years ago after praying and praying and crying and praying some more and talking things through with God so many times. As soon as my preacher found out all I got was “that’s the devil”. So many of the people that I had went to church with criticized me to the point I don’t even feel comfortable walking into a church anymore. Even though I’ve had to stop transitioning and am now back to living full time as a male, I still don’t feel comfortable in a church. I used to be such a strong Christian and now I don’t even feel welcome in God’s house.

      • Tracy Stella

        Summer,
        I’m praying God leads you to the place you can call your church home as He reveals Himself and His desire for you to continue on your journey with Him. I pray He covers you in grace as You seek His face more and more. I pray you experience His love, goodness, and compassion as He shows you His heart for you and what He has for you. I pray the Holy Spirit lead, guide, and whispers into your heart in a way you know you’ve heard from Him. Amen.

      • Suzette

        Thank you for writing this. It is currently how my heart feels. I get it. I get how it can be interpreted by a heart that’s in love with Jesus and a heart for all people. I get how it can be misinterpreted by those who feel like I once did, uninformed, confused, quick to judge. Thank you for being brave enough to write this. You showed kindness to a person and recognized their hurt. It doesn’t mean you support or are against their lifestyle, you looked at the bigger picture and chose to love.

      • mackierain

        Sharon, coming from a fellow Christian, we are NOT oppressed or mistreated. We are the majority. We may be hated by many but we are privileged. Confronting aggression towards us is not the answer. Instead, we should ask why that aggression and hate exists. And I truly believe it’s because there are so many hate filled “Christians” today.

      • Kelly Roberts

        Thank you mackierain. I have met many many wonderful Christians who have shown me nothing but love and kindness but then I get some that are absolutely fire spitting, holier than thou. I have also met some who, like me, don’t believe in a higher power and they are the same. Some really nice people then some not so nice people. The issue I have with Christians is that some will twist the scriptures to say what THEY interpret it to say and use it as a weapon. I had one lady who told my youngest child, who was 9 at the time, that because his father and I were not married, he would never be accepted in the church. She also proceeded to explain to him that unless he gave his life to Jesus, he was going to hell. Took all I had not to use the “laying on of hands” technique to keep her from spouting that nonsense to my child. I would hope that all people, Christian or not, would take other people’s feelings into consideration and not brow beat or judge.

    • Pamela

      Sharon: I read your post and understand how you feel right now. If anyone is treating you wrong for your Christian beliefs I humbly direct you to Matt. 5:39. There are many other teachings of Jesus and the apostles that reinforce this concept. We are to love one another as Jesus loves us. I find no conditions to giving that love. We have been called by Christ to love. Jesus said it does us no good to love our friends, He commanded us to love our enemies. Sharon, I believe you are a follower of Christ. I know it can be hard at times, I know that Jesus will give you the grace to love all of his children as he loves them. Unconditionally.

  • Melissa Van Zant

    We’ve talked before about my boiled down God-is-love doctrine. That’s as complicated a belief system as I can handle. I read this and felt like my heart was going burst open with lots of little winged hearts floating out of it. Sounds like two of God’s kids recognized each other and didn’t let any of the earthly junk get in the way. Like a little piece of heaven planted itself in the both of you…and now in those of us who get to read it. 💖

      • Liz

        Whether that person has rejected God or not is not your call to make. Whether that person has rejected God or not doesn’t matter- we are ALL His children, no matter what. Our children don’t simply stop being our children because they follow a path that is not our own. They don’t stop being our children because they disagree with us. We never stop being God’s children for the very same reasons! And It is not our place to say whether that person has rejected God or not – you don’t know that person or the things they have been through / are going through, so don’t presume to know where they are in their walk with God. We are ALL sinners, every one of us. Don’t judge someone just because they sin differently than you.

      • Jackie

        She was right, TWO of God’s kids. We are all God’s kids. We are God’s children by birth. We don’t “earn” our birthright nor do we lose it. If God has an issue with the choices of one of His children, I trust that He doesn’t need our help determining what His reaction will be but I do feel comfortable that He still loves us. All of us. That’s what parents do. I’d bet that He even loves mean spirited ‘ole you. 😉
        Now, run along and go sue somebody. lol

      • laurenmendenhall

        How do you know he’s rejected God? Have you ever had the struggle this person is having? Or are you just so perfect that you’ve never given into something you shouldn’t without fear of some stranger who doesn’t even know you tell you you’re not God’s child? In Christ, we are accepted no matter our struggle, and God’s children are well aware of this. This isn’t feel good doctrine, this the Biblical character of Jesus- the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3) If you aren’t…I wouldn’t say you are God’s child, but…

      • TeresaWall

        Tim I understand the point you are trying to make but, you have to understand that we are sinners. It is only graces that saves us. They are both God’s kids. One may not know it, yet.

      • Sarah Aten

        So… A person who chooses to live in sin and reject themselves as the image of God is still a child of God..? I am confused. If everyone is a child of God and everyone has the same love and benefits, what is the point of our religion and faith? Why bother with sin? Why bother pursuing holiness? God loves us and we are all His children anyway, so lemme just go sleep around, steal from people, lie, kick puppies and be a generally nasty person. It doesn’t matter. I’m a child of God and He loves me, just the way I am! >sarcasm greatly implied with that last sentence< God loves us all, but He also calls us to be holy, as He is holy. There's a balance that seems to be forgotten here.

      • Mae Boe

        I missed the part of the Bible where we get to judge another person and his/her walk of faith. I also missed where you have been able to be perfect, now that you have “accepted Christ into your heart.” You are right that he has called us to be holy, to pursue that. That is something we have to pursue daily and fall very short of. In regards to how to behave around others the Bible is very clear…love as Christ loved. That is it. The Bible doesn’t say walk up to that person and inform them of how they are daily living in sin. Actually, it says to remove the log from your own eye before removing the speck from your neighbors. The Holy Spirit is the one who calls, pursues, and convicts…not us. The point of faith is to grow closer to Christ and become who we were made to be. The point isn’t to pick out for ourselves who is saved and who isn’t. We don’t pursue holiness so we can look at others and feel as though we are better than. The “point” is to realize we have all sinned and fallen short…every day, every second. Yet, by grace we are saved.

      • Amy

        God’s children are ALL sinners. Jesus was the ONLY perfect being that ever stepped foot on the Earth. God loves us all, no matter what our sin.

      • Suzie Nunnally Clary

        We are not born God’s children. We, sinners, die and are resurrected (symbol i.e., baptism), born again, as children of God, belonging to Jesus – no longer is our identities sinners but children of God. (justified by faith in the works of Jesus, being sanctified for the rest of lives on earth, to be glorified in that time before our Lord in heaven.) A believer may reject the sanctification process. If a believer does this without being troubled or tormented by it then they need to question whether they were truly saved in the first place. If a believer rejects the sanctification process, it is as if they stay standing as God moves. And they will be knocked down by His movements (for we can’t run away… we belong to Him. Where are we going to go?). For many people, God is a gentleman who would never feel his wind on the back of their necks, for they are bent towards Him. For many people, as we stand in our pride, our lack of knowledge, our blaming others, our unloveliness, we feel that wind as we are bowled over again and again. Even in our complete unloveliness as believers, God only sees us in our resurrected, glorified form, through his son. God loves all. But not all of the all are God’s children; though His perfect will and immeasurable love would have it be so.

      • Cristi

        Did you not learn that EVERYONE is a child of God? If God made man than we are ALL his children. If you had a child and they disobey you does that make them not your child? No, that’s not how it works. God loves every single one of his children and a sin wont change that.

      • Janie

        If there is a God,
        it’s His job to judge if the kid is a sinner. NOT YOURS.
        And, how do you KNOW that kid has rejected God?
        You don’t have a CLUE what kind of life that kid has had.
        Yet, you presume he is a sinner. SHAME on you.

      • Mary Stapleton

        Remember that whatever you believe about the bible’s ‘inspiration’…the various books, documents and letters written by flawed human beings with their own prejudices and with the knowledge of their time.. The ones which eventually ended up in the bible were picked by flawed human beings again with their own take on things. Whether or not one believes God speaks to people, most would agree that Christians and others mistake what they think thy hear sometimes. There is no more reason that the writers and compilers of scripture were any less prone to mistaking what they believed God was saying to them than anyone today. What is more Christians are not even agree on what constitutes scripture, some include the apocrypha, and others do not. What is certain is that none of these people understood what we know now of hormonal influences on the brain in the womb which at its extreme can lead to a female brain in a male body and vice versa . This means there is the full spectrum of sexuality from varying ‘straight’ people maybe being attracted to the more masculine or lore feminine of the opposite sex, to bisexual, to homosexual, to transgender. None of us can help the sexuality we were born with so it’s expression in a loving relationship, or conversion or the wrong body cannot be a sin. No one says it is a sin if a person is physically born neither male nor female, so why if the brain is affected separately from the body? Under an electron microscope the brains of transgender people are physically different.

  • Shannon

    Hi Anna,

    I thought this was a good piece and a great step toward showing Christ-like love toward the LGBTQ community. May I offer one suggestion, though? One way to continue to show love to your friend (even after the fact) is to use the gender specific pronoun of their preferred gender. In other words, “she,” “her” and “hers” instead of “they” “their” and “theirs.” Even this small act of changing your language can go a long way to continue to model Christ’s love.

    Thanks for your piece.
    Shannon

    • Vern

      It looks like she’s done your suggested edits, and that makes me even more impressed with this essay.

    • Vern

      Whoops, I read your comment wrong!

      My friends who are trans prefer the pronoun “they/them/theirs”. It drives ME crazy as a grammar nerd, but my understanding is that removing gender pronouns entirely is the most respectful way to refer to a trans person.

      • Elizabeth

        “they” as non-gender specific singular has a long history in English, I have recently learned from editor friends. Also, some people prefer “they,” while others don’t, Never assume: ASK.

      • Vern

        Elizabeth, re: “they” – you are totally right that it is best to ask! In this situation, the author might not have known that, or might not be able to do so now. I think in this case, “they” is most respectful.

        I will have to research the grammar history! It sure would make writing easier (if potentially less clear).

      • Cassie

        This is good to know! I’m a grammar nerd too, but being loving and respectful trumps grammar.

    • hannahrlrussell

      Shannon,

      While I think it is considerate to use a specific gender pronoun, LGBT people can identify singularly as “they/their/theirs”. I recently took a course with a classmate who identified as the gender pronoun “they/them”, even though they were an individual entity. Anna’s language is considered 100% acceptable in this model, and my guess is because her dialogue was direct (speaking to her friend using “you”), she didn’t ask her preferred gender modifier.

      http://i544.photobucket.com/albums/hh334/bethoraatgmail/pronouns.jpg You can refer to this chart if needed.

    • Scott k

      Yes and include yourself involved with the sin? You have to love yes, but you have to be careful and not condone the sin.

      • wareagle01

        Kegkim, it actually is our job to not condone sin. If someone is child molester are you really going to say, “that’s OK. Sometimes I miss church or gossip, which are also sins. So, who am I to judge? So, you just go on doing what you’re doing and I’ll just love you”? If that’s how your faith works, then you can keep it.

  • pigpen51

    Why is it so hard for my Christian friends and relatives to understand the love and compassion shown by you and by Jesus? I feel exactly the way you do. Who am I to judge the person with their speck in their eye, when I am one with the log in my own, and we are both embraced by the love of Christ. Wonderful post.

    • VirgoGamerGirl

      Ego, self-righteousness, arrogance, and lack of empathy for others. Seems to me many people become ‘Christians’ just to feel superior to others and treat people as if they’re peasants or something. Whenever I meet a Jesus follower like the author, maybe there is some hope. I’m not a Christian; I’m an Asatruar, but I have respect for people who represent their god in a positive way.

      • Tracy Stella

        Virgogamer Girl, there is hope. I think there are more Christians that want to love people, because that’s what Jesus did. Unfortunately, and it makes me so sad when I see it, some of us don’t represent Jesus very well. He asks us who follow Him to be His ambassadors. On behalf of those whom you’ve met that haven’t left a good taste in your mouth, I’m sorry. That is a reflection of us and our own sin (and we all have it and need Jesus to help us overcome it). Our bad behavior is never a reflection of Jesus, of who He is and how He’d want us to represent Him. I will say this, even when I’m trying, I don’t always get it right. Also, just because someone attends church doesn’t mean they are Christian. It doesn’t mean they are following Jesus (or even that they are believers of Jesus). Scripture says, you will know them by their fruit. If the fruit “tastes good”, that’s probably God. Those with good fruit won’t be perfect, but they will be following Jesus who is. If you’ve never read the book of John, I’m hoping it would be okay to encourage you to do so. You’ll get a taste of who Jesus is and how He loves. We mess love up. Jesus never does.

    • wareagle01

      So, are you saying you are willing to hang out with unrepentant child-molesters, rapists, and muderers? Are you going hang out with them and invite them to your house for dinner? If not, why not? Please explain this.

      • thegreatwishywoz

        Actually, yes. Jesus ate at a tax collector’s house. Our job is to love them and accept them as any other human that was made in the image of God (read: everyone to exist ever). It’s God who softens hearts; it’s God who makes the change. We just have to trust He knows what He’s doing, and love outside the lines. 🙂

      • Tracy Stella

        Yes. I am. I’ll pray with and for them. We all need Jesus. God calls us to the prisoners. How many prison ministries are there? What about reaching the traffickers (or the men who buy women)? Yep. Them too. I don’t want women being trafficked and victimized. No one is beyond the reach of God. Paul is probably our best example of that. I love that God left us Paul as hope for us all, no matter what our history.

  • Ede

    God is Love and Love never fails. He sent His son to open a gate for man to enter in through, into a relationship with all members of the Trinity. Jesus shows us how to be about our Father’s business, loving the as yet lost, the last and the least. As we prefer them above ourselves and demonstrate the power of Jesus’ Love, the darkness will scatter and they will catch ahold of the atmosphere of Heaven. Once they open their hearts to Jesus, the Holy Spirit will convict them of their particular sins…that is not and never was our job. This is why it is the “Good News”…all we need to do is re-present Jesus as we let them know that Father God loves each and every one of His children, there are just some things which we do that He is not too keen on…our world’s standards are not yet aligned with Heaven, but once again, it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict of sin, not ours. We just need to Love them into the Kingdom!

  • Sara

    Interesting read. I think a good balance would be to say that it is important to love on persons and to gain a mutual trust in the friendship so that when you share with the person about who God has created them to be in love they will hear it from a place of trust in your love for them and not a place of judgement. Some persons may read this and think I am only called to love on people not to show them their true identity in Jesus Christ which in the end wouldn’t be truly loving them at all.

    • Sonja

      That’s exactly what I was thinking too. Yes, we are called to love people, the Bible says to love your neighbor as yourself. But the Bible also says “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17. There are other places in the Bible that talk about correcting and rebuking as well. But you have to correct and rebuke in love. You can’t just love someone and ignore a sin that they are unrepentant of. That’s not loving them. Sin holds us back and separates us from God. If we truly love people, we wouldn’t want that to happen to them. I am not saying the author feels this way or not, but I agree with Sara that some people may read this and think all they have to do is love, they don’t have to tell them about Jesus and their true identity in Him.

      • Sonja

        I accidentally posted my comment without finishing it. If people read this and think all they have to do is love and they don’t have to tell people about Jesus and their true identity in Him, then that is not love because we are holding people back from an amazing relationship with Jesus.

      • Denise Chambers

        Tiffany R…..Isaiah 59:1,2 says “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
        and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”

      • Lydia

        Those of you who think that just loving isn’t enough: I guess I am curious how you handle the other “sins” of your friends. The ones who lie to their husbands about how much money they spend on clothes…the ones who skip church every other Sunday because their kids have club sports…the ones who are overweight and gluttonous…the ones who gossip…the ones who consult their horoscopes…the ones who get divorced or live with someone before marriage,etc…

        Are you preparing to sit down with those unrepentent sinners? Have you ever sat them down and made sure that they know “Jesus and their true identity in him?” Or are those sins something that you are able to ignore since you don’t find it as offensive as someone who is lgbt? The tone of my reply is more aggressive than I originally intended but I really struggle with the way that too many Christians reserve this “unrepentant sinner-treatment” for lgbt and not all friends who are unrepentant. (As an aside: I think it is awesome that more and more Christians are starting to speak up as an #ally.)

        If I was to write a blog about loving people who are getting divorced would there be as many Jesus followers who said “love them but don’t forget to make sure they know that they are wayward?”

      • Melanie

        Lydia, you asked if this “correcting” or “rebuking” occurred only with certain sins and it just got me to thinking about my experiences. I have a handful of wonderful Christian friends who have sat me down and flat out told me when I was out of line in various areas of my life. Dating a guy who wasn’t supportive of my ministries. My words being too cutting and not gracious enough. My lack of forgiveness to a person who hurt me. In all cases, I’m so glad my friends spoke up, even though at the time it kind of stung and hurt because in every case I was able to wrestle through that particular sin or situation and come out a “better” follower of Christ. More gracious, more loving, more devoted. BUT the real distinction here is that there are about 5, maybe 6 people in the whole world that I have that close of a relationship with. Within the church, we are called to help each other “do life” and I think that includes having difficult conversations with those people we love. But for every 1 person in my life that I have that kind of a close and personal relationship with, there are probably 100 others that I just need to be loving on. I’m so thankful we serve a God who knows that it’s hard to sometimes figure out what our role is and he forgives us when we get it wrong and gives us,the Holy Spirit to help us get it right!!

      • Terry

        Excellent reply, Sara. You brought the precise, necessary balance that was missing in this otherwise good post.

      • Christy

        God is the only one who can correct and rebuke and judge. You are a sinner. You cannot. You love. That’s your only job.

      • wareagle01

        Lydia, So are you actually saying that we shouldn’t tell an unrepentant serial rapist or murderer that what he is doing is wrong? You would just love him? Because it seems like that’s what you’re saying.

  • Holly

    To those who want to rebuke and correct the “wayward” I would say this: unless you know a person’s true physiological status (the way God fearfully and wonderfully made them, and knew them in their mother’s womb), you can’t judge their “waywardness quotient.” Some people (intersex) are born with both a penis and vagina. Some have XXY chromosomes. Some have massive rushes of hormones of the opposite sex from what they were genitally equipped. I believe if God wants to convict someone, He is capable of doing it without my help.

  • Tracy Stella

    Anna, THANK YOU for writing this piece. You are an answer to prayer. I wanted to connect with you, if possible. Here is a link to the contact me page for my site. http://tracystella.com/contact-me/

    When I shared your post on Facebook, I included these thoughts of my own:

    If my arms could do it, I’d reach through my computer and give this author a hug. God’s Word says, we will know a believer by his or her fruit. Anna’s? I’d say hers smells sweet to the Lord. Anything planted in love is a tribute to the One who loves us enough to have died for us.

    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16

    THE WORLD… for God so loved the world.

    I want to be so busy loving others, there’s no room left for judgment. That is my prayer for the Church. My prayer is we would all be so overwhelmed by God’s love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy extended to us that we couldn’t help ourselves and love others to the point of overwhelm. It’s only in the name of Jesus that can happen. So I lift His name high, and I say in the Mighty Name of Jesus, let us love. Amen!

  • Rex

    An open heart for “untouchables”! Often proclaimed but seldom actually presented!
    You are running on extra cylinders many of are not even aware of yet. Not afraid of rejection.

  • daveainley

    This was one of the most beautiful blogs I’ve had the pleasure of coming across. Regardless of what Scripture says about sin, God has called us to love as He loves us (unconditionally), and present Jesus and His message to the world. When we can love without condemnation, the world will see that our hearts aren’t embittered toward them, and will be primed to receive The Father’s Love, and subsequently, His conviction. So beautifully written, Anna. Praise Jesus for your willingness to walk boldly in His Light.

  • Jessica O

    Oh my goodness. Someone shared your blog post on Facebook so I decided to read it. And i loved it. I coach & help lead our youth group & try to teach them that the Bible & Jesus is just love, not judging each other. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post. <3

  • ::Courtney Gross::

    Anna you have a beautiful soul and have captured what so many of us want to say but aren’t sure how to word it. Thank you for being honest and courageous to post this.

  • ::Courtney Gross::

    You have no business correcting and rebuking someone who you haven’t first cultivated a relationship with and can say you truly have come to love. Also you have no business correcting and rebuking someone if the Holy Spirit hasn’t instructed you too. love can be enough, because it isn’t YOU who is going to convict someone, it is the Holy Spirit. God IS love. Jesus IS love. So, yes love is absolutely enough.

  • Denise Chambers

    Living the Christian life (being sanctified, Philippians 1:6) in Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit is walking in truth and love; it’s not either/or it’s always both/and all the time. In my years of belonging to Jesus (32 years) I have seen believers go back and forth on the pendulum between love and truth some sticking so close to one side or the other that their witness for Jesus, on either side, was hindered. If we stick only to the “truth side” (I do not say truth in a bad way; I say it as the undeniable, unshakeable, must believe doctrines in God’s Word that we must know and believe in to even be believers 🙂 ) and we do not have love (1 Corinthians 13:1) then we can become hard hearted, judging wrongly (I use judging the way scripture uses it in 1 Corinthians 5:9,10, 12), a noisy gong that no one cares to listen to.

    If we stick only to the “love side” (Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor as ourself) then we take the risk of going against 1 Corinthians 13:6 which says, “(Love) does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.” We can actually end up harming (not physically) those around us who do not know Jesus by loving them too much and not sharing how they, too, can be connected back to their Creator and have life everlasting with Him through Jesus Christ. Can showing the Truth about Jesus maybe cut off the relationship? Yeah, it could….but if you had the for sure cure for someone dying and you just read nice stories to them but never told them of the cure then that would be super unloving.

    We have the answer for a world in pain even though they don’t look like that all the time. We balance, with the Holy Spirit’s leading, truth and love in this way, 2 Timothy 2:24-26 “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” I love this verse 🙂

  • Cameron

    I see a pattern that those who have no fault with this article fail to use Gods word, and those that speak truth only use His word, not their own opinion. Maybe something to think about.

    • Tracy Stella

      Interesting. You didn’t either. Maybe we were trying not to use Scripture as a weapon. Just so you don’t think we don’t know it… the only One in our midst who is holy, blameless, pure and set apart from sinners is the appointed Son. God saves completely. Not you. Not me. Not any of us. God. To me people who feel the need to fix others’ sin are not fully trusting that God is sufficient, that God is big enough to reach the world. GOD is able COMPLETELY. The saving grace for all of us? He intercedes on our behalf. Heaven help us. We all need it! I need it! Once and for all.

      Hebrews 7:25-28 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

      • Tracy Stella

        Just wanted to demonstrate I know God’s Word since the implication was made that wasn’t the case. I love Jesus and I love His Word – both saved me. And I do need Jesus to intercede on my behalf, especially when I am passionate about how we are representing Christ and who we might be leaving in the wake of judgmental and unmerciful behavior. There are people on the other side of our words who are getting harmed. THAT breaks my heart. When Jesus pulled me out of the pit, He didn’t point His finger at me and say, “How dare you!” He said, “Come to me, child. I love you!” Over time, He showed me what needed (and needs) worked out. If someone would have looked from the outside in, I think many would have sadly said, “There’s no hope for her.” Jesus said otherwise. And I love Him with all my heart for it! He is our hope. He is our strength. Our shield. Our strong tower. And He is the Anchor for our souls. I just wish we would all act like it and let the wind of the Holy Spirit guide others’ sails to safe port. I do trust the Holy Spirit to whisper into my ear if and when it is time to speak to someone. I’ll point them to God’s Word and trust that His Word which cuts between bone and marrow (as it did and does in mine) is powerful enough, because God is Sovereign to save. Only God knows the time and tone of what is to be said. It would be my pride to think otherwise. I pray we all submit to Christ’s example of humility, myself included. Sanctification isn’t meant to snap us in half. Sanctification is meant to make us look more and more like Jesus every day. I pray we do that.

  • Douglas

    Just to be in context regarding Isaiah 59 (1-2) if you read chapter 58 &59 It was about those in covenant who were not loving the poor , the naked , the outcast etc. Not that I agree with the specific lifestyle but it was directed to those who were called to be mercifully tolerant and were not.

  • Liz

    Lovely. While I disagree that being true to who you are is a sin -I do understand where that belief is coming from- I would like to say that this is beautiful. God is love. And what better way to be more Christ-like (and show people that not all Christians are closed minded bigots!) than to love like He loves. If more people in church openly loved like this, I would probably go to church more!

  • Christina Loveday

    I’ve had this same conversation as you have written out in your blog and I understand what your saying but it goes a step further than LOVE, Jesus was love but also truth and light, I can’t help but feel if we Christians were truly like Christ we would not just leave that person with a few hugs and a smile. That person would see the light and follow it. When Christ encountered someone and their issues their life was forever changed. Honestly, love by itself is too easy. God is much more than just love. My reply is not intended to be hurtful, just sharing my view. Blessings.

    • Tracy Stella

      Love doesn’t mean leaving the truth out, I agree. But Melanie above said it really well – what is our relationship with a person? Someone who doesn’t know me hasn’t earned a place of trust to speak into my life. If I know they are “for me” and “love me” I can have a conversation. I so strongly believe it’s about seeking to understand and a dialogue. Love isn’t always easy. But it is not loving for people who haven’t taken the time to get to know someone to try to correct them. I believe it takes great humility and your face to the floor in prayer before we ever utter a word. If I’m not on my knees before I open my mouth, it would be wise for me to keep it closed. Like you, Christina, I’ve had friends walk me through areas the Lord wanted me to be free from. The crucial role – they knew me and they knew the Lord. I didn’t feel condemned; I felt convicted. When we confront people we have never taken the time to get to know? That’s not love.

    • Liz

      By being known as a Christian and still showing love and respect to someone, despite the fact that you disagree with their life “choices”, is that not showing them God’s light and encouraging them to follow it? When you show someone love and respect despite your differences, is that not forever changing that person? They may have only had negative experiences with people they used to go to church with, or used to know. The author showing this person love and respect shows them that you can be a follower of Christ AND be non-judgmental. That you can love God AND your fellow man. The best way to lead is by example. Would you want to work for someone who put you down and told you how horrible you were on a daily basis? I certainly hope not. To me, the best way to lead someone to Christ, is to love them as they are. Show them that we are ALL sinners and God loves us anyway. Does He love our sins? no. But He loves US, because WE are ALL his children.

      I’m not trying to come across as combative. Just trying to add a different perspective. 🙂

      Peace and love.

  • demilhadey

    I think God has said it all thru Courtney Gross. Inasmuch as Jesus showed true love to the adulterous woman, he also told her to go and sin no more. Encapsulated in love is correction.

  • Elizabeth P

    I totally agree with what is written – beautifully said – love! I have a question I would like to ask – not because I don’t agree with the above and not because I am looking to pick an argument -but because I really would like to know how you would deal with these. Firstly, when the person you are friends with who is of a different orientation that you, straight out asks you if they are sinning because they are in an alternative relationship? How would you answer them? And how would you advise a young person going down that route? Would you recommend living a celibate life or how would advise it? I do know that we are all sinners, saved by grace – and it is not for me to judge another’s walk with God; but these questions do come up – how do we answer them?

    • Tracy Stella

      I don’t want to assume… Have you prayed and asked God how He wants you to handle the specific situation / conversation? I ask that because there have been times God has asked me to remain silent and quietly intercede behind the scenes. Yet, there have been other times when God has given me questions to ask / words to speak. Only God knows where a person is at and if his/her heart will be receptive (in whatever we’re talking about). We don’t need to debate. Seek to understand. Listen – definitely to the Lord and His leading – and to the person you’re sitting across the table from. I think also a good barometer / check is to ask ourselves, how would I want someone to handle this conversation if it were me they were talking with. If the person is straight up asking me a question, I’d direct them to pray and ask God how He would answer that question. Not that I wouldn’t get involved in a conversation with that person, but God’s voice is obviously the one that cuts through to the truth. I don’t want to step ahead of Him and what He would say to the individual. I’d love to process with the person what God spoke to him / her. I think that would be helpful. Ask lots of questions. Countless times I’ve quietly asked in my head, “Holy Spirit please help me. I have no idea what to say. What should I ask? What should I say?” Sometimes, He has said “just listen”. People need to feel heard. Sometimes, He has hand fed me a question or words to speak. I would be completely incapable (and out of my jurisdiction) if I spoke words the Lord didn’t want. I need to check with Him to see what those are. That would be the best advice I could give. Let God give you the words. =)

  • straightspouseblog

    Thank you for this article, which was shared with me on Facebook. I love that you did not pretend to not know this person, but that you affirmed her as a human being, recalling some good times.

    I belong to a support group of the straight current and former spouses of LGBT people. Recently, we have had more straight spouses of transgender individuals contact us. It is a complicated scenario for family.

    Straight spouses in general have difficulty because we are hit with a barrage of mixed reactions when we come out of our spouses and ex spouses closets and tell the truth. It can really hurt when we are ignored in a Christian community, or interrogated with a barrage of “what did you know, when did you know it, how do you know, are you sure” questions. We are also hurt when we are only affirmed as long as we join whatever crusade some individuals in our churches are on to either change our spouses to heterosexual, or champion lgbt rights. Often we are consigned to an awkward silence, as our lives make others uncomfortable. This is especially true if they continue to deny their true sexuality publicly and set us up for accusations of being crazy or evil. It’s also true when they come out in liberal communities and make it seem as if we are “haters” and “homophobes” for being angry and distraught.

    We take blame for the end of our marriages when we have no control over a spouse hiding their desire for the gender that is opposite of our own. We are often not acknowledged as having human value as children of God once the G word is out there. We are something, not someone, to be used, not affirmed or welcomed. Meantime, many of us experience social isolation, legal problems, financial problems, and social, spiritual, and sexual evisceration. But no one wants to know, or care. My own experience is as the long married wife of a deeply closeted church going gay man in a liberal congregation. Our situation was way off script, because in a liberal congregation of course gay people come out. But my ex denied the truth to me, and to himself. And kept denying it. And I had to leave in order to find ongoing spiritual sustenance in a church.

    The grief and pain and anger can last a long time, and we often are not easy people to minister to. Denying or avoiding the truth does not help. And there is no universal experience – we are all incredibly diverse people, of different backgrounds, faiths, cultures, and opinions.

    The most loving thing any Christian can do for a straight spouse is to affirm them. Listen to them. Accept them. There’s a lot of anger and grief and sometimes it is really ugly and lasts a while.

    I have been helped a great deal by the Straight Spouse Network, which is non sectarian, and very diverse. Its also very non judgmental, helping both men and women who have been affected by having a spouse who is LGBT, and providing support whether or not people decide to remain married. Most of us divorce, some stay married or attempt to stay married. All receive support and affirmation in a highly confidential peer to peer setting, either in person or online.

    When I am confronted by someone who in the name of Christ thinks it is their duty to defend marriage and the faith by marginalizing families like mine (yes, we had kids, they are grown, and there are gay people in our families) I ask what the pastoral response is to straight spouses in their midst. The response is usually one of confusion, disbelief, or a very quick platitude with attitude. Ministry to straight people? Really? Yeah.

    The kind of simple acknowledgement you have spoken of today in regard to the transgender person is something that also speaks volumes to family members and spouses/ex spouses. Thanks, Janet

  • Sharon Baker

    I really think it is the Christian that is the one being shown prejudice in this time and it is hard to be a professing Christian because you are immediately attacked by people who say you should love everyone when you do. When we make a statement or profess our faith we are the ones being attacked. I try very hard to explain my view is from Gods word not from my feelings or opinions. Our goal as a Christian is to grow more like Christ. It is hard to show love if people immediately attack you because of your faith. We can not hide under a rock and Gods word and the Holy Spirit convict, it is not the Christian in most cases saying or doing anything. The Christian needs support that their beliefs are from the word and the world will never accept them even though they accept and love them more thru their relationship with Christ. We can not bring others to Christ without them realizing the error of their ways. So the controversy right now lies in the fact that anyone that disagrees with you are considered haters and encourage aggression. It is a time we have to rely on Gods protection and to speak very carefully to not condemn but to share our faith is built on what Gods word says not what we individually think or feel. Sexual sin is more open than other sins that can be hidden, the bible also says that sexual sin is sin against your own body, so because of this it is hard for people to hide it and so in order to deal with it they try to make it right in the worlds eye so that they will not feel guilty. We can not accept their ways to make them feel better, we can accept them, but ultimately they will not want to be around you because you are an example of Christ which will convict them
    . As Christians we are working out our own salvation and we certainly are not without sin, we have to work thru it but we call it what it is even if it is just between us and God. The difference is acknowledging sin, if we do not acknowledge it as sin then we are just living for our own ways not Gods!.

    • Denise Chambers

      It doesn’t bother me that the secular world puts me down for holding to God’s Word as the only Truth and basing my whole world view upon His Word….what saddens me is that other believers put me down for holding to God’s Word as the only Truth and basing my whole world view upon His Word…extra saddens me.

  • Monica

    This was on point. You described and captured EXACTLY how I have been feeling and how I desperately try to walk out life on this Jesus Journey….Thank you for that! I’m sharing with the world!

  • Nicole

    A beautiful article and testimony of love>fear (love greater than fear). Thank you for sharing!! I will say, the only thing that bothered me was that you referred to her as “them” as if she had some sort of multiple personality. I love how you stress the importance of just loving as Christ commanded us to. We are called to love, not judge. Again, beautiful story!!

  • Lila

    I’m sorry Anna but I completely disagree with what you did. You are misusing the Gospels and refused to allow the Holy Spirit’s devine appointment to help this person. Your desired to show worldly love and denied your friend the opportunity to know Jesus. You have embraced a common desire to enjoy your salvation by ignoring God’s desire to save all. Christians shouldn’t care about worldly accepted lifestyles just to protect our self image. We should never deny God and Jesus in an effort to appease someone’s worldly desire and choice. Remember Jesus accepted sinners and loved them but never said their sin was ok. He told the adulterous women to go and sin no more. You should have taken the opportunity to reignite a loving friendship to help lead someone you love back to Christ. Jesus was not worried about being PC about anything. He always condemned sin and furnace it when asked. Your friend may not know to ask but you did. So now you have reception and your friend doesn’t get that same opportunity? it’s our responsibility to lovingly show others that Jesus wants to redeem them and make them new which means we will didn’t a life time denying ourselves, our personal desires. Jesus makes it possible to deny our sinful ways when we allow him into our hearts.. He sent the holy spirit to lead us to share His word. He didn’t ask us to condemn but we are told to discern.God says to never accept worldly things and to love each other as ourselves. You aren’t showing love for your friend by ignoring their need for salvation. You actually did the opposite of what God wants. You said you aren’t perfect so you depend on Jesus. Dp you know if your friend has that comfort in Jesus. Your right, your aren’t more important than your friend. you shouldn’t have put your salvation above their need for salvation. You disregard Jesus in order to avoid your friend judging you. But the truth is the only judgement you should be worried about is God’s. You didnt show love when you left your friend alone with no opportunity for someone to help them seek Jesus. Christians aren’t suppose to live for this world but live to do God’s will here until we can live in eternity with him. imagine there are two lines on the day of judgement, your in one headed to heaven then you look across to the line of those headed to an eternity separated from God. There you see your friend and they cry out to you “why didn’t you tell me, why didn’t you share God with me!”

    • Kelly Roberts

      So you are saying that instead of opening communication with someone who was obviously uncomfortable and establishing a real relationship, she should have starting beating her friend over the head with religion? That is why churches lose members and religion loses people. If someone approaches me with the attitude that I have sinned and here is how to fix it, I immediately go on the defensive or I shut down and don’t hear them. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Treat me kindly, show me that I can trust you then I am an open vessel into which you can pour knowledge and wisdom.

    • tannersp3

      You are putting God in a box. Mark 12:31 “love your neighbor as yourself, there is no greater commandments” You are judging that she handled this situation incorrectly. what if the Holy spirit led her to show love? then the holy spirit is wrong? God uses all of our unique gifts (which HE gave us). maybe Annas “Seed” is the stepping stone for down the road, and you are completely discrediting it. Not EVERY encounter is going to lead to salvation. God knows this and uses LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to over come it. WE are the ones who screw it up thinking we can act like God.

  • Aaron

    God loves. Not DID, not WILL. Loves. That realization is what got me through the worst period of my life, when the pain was just too much to take one more day. God loves. That’s what matters. I’m what matters to him (oh, and he loves me the most of anyone 🙂 ).

  • PJ Dimples

    I John 4:7&8 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God – He that loveth not – knoweth not God – for God is love. I tell my kids every day – God did not send me into the world to judge but to love. This is my commandment that you love one another. Good job!! Finally – a christian not judging. The bible even tells wives that they will win their husband over by their behavior – not judging them. Of course it works on everyone….. Where has the church gone?

  • Jared P

    Anna, I agree with you that our actions should show Christ’s love towards them. Not condoning their lifestyle choice but still loving them. It’s no different then someone who lives a heterosexual lifestyle of sleeping around or an alcoholic lifestyle. Sin is sin. And we are called to love them. We are called to share the truth in “love.” Jesus looked on the adulterer with compassion, not judgement but he also said to her, “go and sin no more.” Meaning leave this lifestyle because now you have true life in me (Jesus). We should look to share the truth of what we have in Jesus. If we don’t, and we simply act as though everything is cool it would be no different then someone coming to you dying of cancer and you having the cure and withholding the truth because you don’t want to break it to them that they have cancer because it might upset them. If they choose to not accept it then that’s their choice. We should in no way push them away or love them any less. You accept them and share with them of this saving cure that only requires one thing…”to believe on the name of Jesus Christ and surrender our lives to him.” It’s the GoodNews that every believer is called to share to every person who is living a sinful lifestyle apart from God, no matter the sin. The important part is examining our heart and asking God to show us how to share His truth in love. To love the person but not the sin. We are no different than them, we are no better and that should cause us to want to share with them who Jesus is! Our reason why we don’t want to live a sinful lifestyle any longer because of His great love for us!
    I know there is no formula for how to break the truth and it does take a risk of someone being offended with you. But from the other side of eternity, our silence will be our greatest regret and most unloving act.

    The good news is that God gives us His Spirit to lead us, even in our daily conversations and spiritual convictions. When to say something and when not to. But never is it loving to shy away from the truth the world so desperately needs to hear. The truth that sets you free, and eternally rescues your soul the truth of the cross, of Jesus’ saving grace. Regardless of their choice, we love them the same because this is how Christ loves them and has loved us: out of slavery and into freedom.

  • Cheryl Blue

    Way to go Anna! When we as Believers understand that we are not the “judge and jury” of others, we will reach more of those who are hurting and feeling lost! We are called to love others, pray for them, and speak life to them! I am not called to send anyone to “hell!’ That’s not my calling. I am so glad that DAD loved me enough to forgive me of my “sins” and I am thankful that HE does that for ALL of us! Keep letting the light of CHRIST shine all through you and treating people like you want to be treated-with love!!!

    • permafrost

      why do you say “sins” with quotation marks? do you not believe that you were forgiven of real sins? were they just minor flaws of no consequence? what is Jesus saving us from, what is the good news if sin is no big deal? might as well be “good people” and not bother with christianity at all.

  • permafrost

    so that’s how you start. if you were to start hanging out on a regular place with this friend of yours, would you never mention Jesus? if they asked you about their lifestyle etc, would you just say, who cares, you’re God’s child it’s not your fault?

    don’t get me wrong: you absolutely did the right thing not raining down fire and brimstone, that is Christlike. but Jesus never ignored sin, he said “go and sin no more”. if he had ignored sin, he wouldn’t have dies to free us from it, and sin and separation would be the eternal destiny of our world. I want to know, what happens next???

    btw, those saying “we are all God’s children”: you are allowed to have your opinion, but you can’t pretend that’s why the bible says. if you follow the bible, it says we become children of God when we accept Christ, when we get saved. Jesus calls some ppl children of Satan. I don’t say this as an insult, bcuz thank God, it’s not a permanent situation.

    • tannersp3

      permafrost – great name btw 🙂 could you point me to the scripture that you mention that we become children of God when we accept christ? and the scripture of Jesus calling people children of satan? For my own reading, not meant as a judgement on you. i really want to read it myself 🙂 thanks!

  • Albert Heinrich

    It is just as loving to call to repentance. Not in a harsh, judgmental way. But, with love, in empathy as one sinner to another, pointing to God’s healing power, grace and mercy….if we but bend our knee and admit we’ve fallen short or strayed from the Truth. We must keep open arms, but be willing to allow someone to walk away if they fail to see their sin for what it is….a barrier to receiving the fullness of God’s love. That unwillingness to repent should break our hearts even more.

  • Lois Basenfelder

    Anna. You rock. You are the Body of Christ in the world, broken and poured. Bless you for this testimony.

  • Ms. Šahíyena: All of Me

    My question to you is: “What is it exactly that you think the church has done to people like ‘them’?

    Whatever was ‘done’ was done by the individuals themselves!

    You have read quite a bit into that encounter without actually conversing with the young man regarding your presumption. Now, it was you who put herself equal with Jesus because you presumed to be a mind reader and knew exactly what your male friend was thinking without even asking him, then you turned around and tried to correct the church!

    Guilt comes from knowing someone has done wrong, no one can do anything to anyone esle or make them feel anything when their actions are righteously. But where sin is involved, even a Word spoken in Love will convict the heart of wrongdoing because the Word of GOD is accompanied by his Holy Spirit…and that is one of the characteristics of the Holy Spirit -to convict of sin that souls would be turned away from it and unto GOD! The problem in society today is the worship of the pleasure of sin so much so that there is no conviction and no turning from it.

    The Word declares that Believers are to “cry loud and spare not” when it comes to proclaiming the Word of GOD and warning men of their sins. That same Love of Jesus that you spoke about, that you say you are so full of, also compelled Christ to deal with man’s sinful nature with every encounter that he had. If he did not, then he could not set them free! That was his whole purpose for coming into the world.

    You were more worried about your friend’s feeling and showing him love, but if you claim to be as Christ; out of his Love, Jesus was more concerned with delivering the truth that Messiah had come and getting humanity set free from the sin that easily besets us!

    Dearest, if your’s was the last voice that young man heard, being engulfed in the midst of his sins; then I hope and pray that you gave him enough of the Gospel before he enters into eternity to have saved his soul…rather his feelings!

    • Jamie

      In this blog post Anna repeats that she is filled with the Holy spirit. Being that is the case, she is going to react with what the Holy spirit is leading her to do. God led her to love, as He has all of us. “Love your neighbor as yourself, NO OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER”(mark 12:31). You right now are judging Gods choice in showing love to this individual who seriously needed some love. It’s not anna’s job to judge this person. God has made ALL of us different, using our unique gifts for bringing people to Himself. GOD has created this amazing love in Anna, but you think you know better than God in how to handle this situation. This is why people are so nervous around christians, because of all the judgement, of which you are doing right now. You mentioned Christ confronting sin at every turn…yes, that makes sense, He is GOD, not us. we are not Him and therefore can not be THE ONLY judge. If anna confronted this person whom she hadn’t seen in however long and started preaching the gospel, all this person would see is judgement, and would shut down. How are shut down people ever suppose to understand the gospel? You don’t shut them down to begin with. You love and let God do the rest, either through you, or another way. It sounds like you are putting God into a box.

      • Ms. Šahíyena: All of Me

        Jamie…

        1. How do “you” know what God led someone else to do?

        2. “It’s not Anna’s job to judge this person” but didn’t Anna judge the church?

        3. How do “you” know what the young man needed at that time, spritually speaking? Did you yourself check with God or did you just pull that out of the air?

        4. Gifts are not used to bring sinners to Christ, lifting up Jesus that “he” may draw men unto himself” is; Gifts are used to edify the church and there are 9 of them that are common to the Body, not one particular member. Love isn’t a gift…it’s the fruit of the Spirit.

        5. Sinners are “nervous” around Born-again Believers because God’s preseance is Holy and consumes sin. There is no fellowship between the two, according to God; Believers should be just as uncomfortable around sin as sinners are around holiness…that is if the individual is truly filled with the Holy Ghost.

        6. The Bride of Christ is the Body of Christ! Therefore, she is Christ, not equal in position, for he is the Head; yet equal in the same calling and purpose. And know ye not that the Saints shall judge the wicked?

        7. Again, presumption! How do you know what this young man would have seen? You presume to know his inner most thoughts and you weren’t even there. Is this another unique gift?

        8. God didn’t call a single person to get others to understand the Gospel, that’s the job of the Holy Spirit; he called the righteous to Lift Him Up…just Lift Him Up sweetheart. Do it in love, but with boldness; focus on obeying the Word, and not changing God’s mandate because of sinners uncomfortability in sin when in the presence of the Holy Ghost!

        9. God isn’t Jack…no man can put him Into a Box!

  • Barbara Cofer Stoefen

    I appreciate your heart in this matter, Anna, but something troubles me. I get the feeling you love your friend IN SPITE OF their transgender status. That is, you seem to be coming from a place of “love the sinner hate the sin.” In my mind, there’s condescension in that. How is your friend being fully who they are, sinful? In Jesus there is freedom.

  • daverett

    You made me cry, Anna. God bless you for being a true “little Christ” and being willing to let Him use you as a vessel to pour his love out on this child of His. I so wish there were more like you out there.

  • Alex

    Anna,

    Thank you for sharing this story and your heart in this way. It is so beautiful that I actually had to comment before walking away. I am a new mom who has been mulling over how to model the love of Christ for my son in everyday life. I so wish that he grows up in family, in community, in a body of believers, where this beautiful display is common, normal, and still precious.

    Peace of Christ to you, friend!

  • alainakailyn

    Hello Anna,
    I’m sure my comment will be drowned in the sea of other thoughts, and yet I would like to at least say a few words.
    I appreciate that you were kind, that is a rare trait amongst Christians when dealing with marginalized people, but kindness does not preclude judgement.
    I am sure the girl you spoke to knows exactly what I mean.
    You see I am a Woman. I am also a minister, a mother, a wife, a writer, a bit of a nerd, and also Transgender. I am all those things and many more but when I deal with people from old churches (churches that I served in ministry at mind you) people I cried and prayed with, people who looked to me and respected me for my biblical knowledg see only a sinner.

    That is not Christ. That is not Christian.

    Nowhere in the scriptures does the bible condemn transgender people, not once. In fact we see God going out of their way to invite eunuchs into the church, or must we forget that a third gender person started the Ethiopian Church?

    Besides the fact that this is a medical issue, even if it wasn’t the dancing in the terribly muddy waters of gender biology , there is no condemnation for us.
    None.

    And yet we make some people uncomfortable, and so must be looked down on, we must be “sinning”.

    Please, I implore you, do a little research, try to understand that this is not some black and white issue, that people’s lives are at stake, that some of us are born ambiguous and that’s how God made us and that’s okay too.
    Please, understand where we are coming from, because I guarantee you as a minister who works with transgender people, we have all heard that who we are is a sin enough times.

    • Jonah

      Alainkailyn; a eunuch is not a transgender person, they have simply castrated themselves as a sign of devotion to their cause. Dueteronomy2:25 condemns men who dress like women and women who dress like men. There are at least a dozen more verses in the old and New Testament that condemn men acting and dressing as women

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