The hot topic of gender identity can really get the hackles up of some within the Church. In my own family, one who listened to Sunday’s teaching was quite agitated that our pastor didn’t outright condemn anything other than “pure” binary gender identity. After some conversation the problem wasn’t what was said but that person’s own experiences. Fortunately, I had been studying Ephesians 4 and the passage, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” came to the rescue.
No matter who walks in the doors of our church we must have that attitude. We must be that. Paul commands us to take on the attitude of Christ who despite being God almighty humbled himself to die for our sins and for the sins of “that person”. When a person who is dissatisfied with who they were born walks into our lives, we are not to condemn them, we are to love them and encourage them to get closer to God, to turn themselves over to God so that God can create in them a new heart and mind.
This requires us to change before we can ever expect others. Paul says, “Put off your old self. Be made new in the attitude of your minds. Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” We need to turn ourselves over to God and let Him do miraculous things in our lives. When we experience that change and understand the power God has, we can in fact love others right where they are and love them so much that we can encourage them to move closer to God, knowing that He can effect change.
Paul concludes his discussion in Ephesians 4 regarding loving others with these words:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32 NIV
Let us pray that God will help us turn our faith into action.