Romans 14:22 Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.
There’s been a lot of buzz and conversation about Bruce Jenner’s transformation into his female persona Catlylin. Many celebrities affirmed his coming out. Many others were speechless and some Christians bewildered. There’s a lot we can say from just looking on the outside about exchanging our natural relations for unnatural relations. It’s easy for us to make a judgment call on this one without really understanding the psyche of this man now woman. It is still difficult for me to grasp as a heterosexual male and proud father of four boys.
On the other hand we all have our Catylin. We just hide her a little better. Paul talks about those who wrestle with their conscience on what is acceptable before God. He uses the analogy of eating meat and drinking wine. Some believers thought that meat that had been sacrificed to idol gods and sold in the marketplace would make them unclean. Some believed that drinking wine would offend those who thought it would lead to dissipation. So Paul’s advice was that if it bothered other people don’t do it in public.
I think we have mastered the “don’t do it in public” but we have not mastered the congruency of who we are.
We have dual personalities. We have the Sunday morning self that has a form of godliness and the Saturday night Self that is turned all the way up. We seem to be two people. If we were to merge these two people and they both came to church what would they look like? Who is your Catylin?
1. You have to decide what you believe is right before God. What is right before God is based on your understanding of scripture interpreted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Bruce Jenner had to wrestle with himself and God and he will have to answer to God about his decision. Have you wrestled with who you are? What does the merger of your public self and private self look like?
2. Do not try to impose your beliefs on others. If you think that drinking wine is evil don’t condemn someone that has a glass of red wine for dinner cause they believe it’s good for their heart. One of the problems I have with this celebration of Catylin is the condemnation from both sides. If you are from the LGBT community you condemn Christians for their belief. If your Christian you condemn LGBT for their beliefs. As Christians it’s our obligation to love And God’s role to judge.
3. Make sure that what you believe is consistent with the way that you live. It’s easy to hit the target when you want to criticize the duplicity of Bruce Jenner. We see his metamorphosis. But what does your inside look like? Does your actions behind closed doors look like the image you portray in public? How do you integrate what you believe with who you are?
Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Help those of us who struggle with who we are and who we should be. You have made us in your image. Please continue to make us, mold us, shape us, fill us with your Holy Spirit. You are the potter we are the clay. Don’t let us become the potter because we will mess up the clay. But I’m grateful that we have this gift of the Holy Spirit in jars of clay. Reconcile who I am with what you want me to be.
In Jesus Name,