It is June 1st already, which means the kickoff of gay pride month. I’m already seeing it pop up all over my Facebook feed. I’ve had to take some time and pray through how I am going to respond when I see these posts pop up, and I would encourage you to do the same. I am the first to admit that I am the king of snarky comments. It is an area where I have had to repent, and am growing in grace. I have had to issue apologies and delete comments. So, this is coming from a place of my own learning. Before I comment on these types of posts, whether from individuals or from businesses, I try to pray through the following:
Ephesians 4:29, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
Before you comment on something, try asking: Is this the moment that this comment is needed? There are many things that are true, but that doesn’t mean that this is the right time and place for it. Is it edifying? Does it give grace to those who hear?
Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”
A couple of thoughts from this verse: Is our comment or response seasoned with grace? Is it full of salt (which adds value, but needs to be in small quantities). How is this response tailored to each individual? This verse says that we should know how to respond “to each person.” Ministry happens in relationships. A comment on a news article or business’s post can be seen by thousands, and makes it impossible to have a response that is to “each person” as this verse speaks of. Remember that comments on the post that a business makes is only read by people. Individual people.
Galations 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
We are supposed to correct our brother who is in sin. With gentleness. The question is, what context is this referring to? I don’t believe that this verse justifies trying to correct strangers or acquaintances online. There is a Biblical process for correcting a brother who is in sin (Matthew 18). We only have the authority to correct those who God has given us authority over (i.e., those in our church). We are to go to them and speak to them one on one. Online comments just cannot be in line with that process.
Many times, I have people ask me, “How do I convince (fill in the blank) that their homosexuality is a sin?” The questions to ask are, “Am I in a place of spiritual authority over them?” “Are they a believer?” “Have I developed a discipleship relationship with them?” “Have they given me authority to speak into that area of their life?” If the answer to any of those is “no,” then you are not a place where you should be condemning them for their sexuality. If you want to see a change, get to know them. Develop a relationship. Care for them. Get to know them deep enough that you understand the idols their hearts are serving. Develop the kind of relationship in which you will be the person they run to when their sin fails them and they are hurting.
Posts such as “we are reclaiming the rainbow as a symbol for God’s covenant” does not make disciples, it does not soften hearts, nor does it build a relationship in which you can have an influence. I have seen many LGBTQ people come to know Christ and I know stories of hundreds of others. I don’t think I have ever heard of such a story that was the result of a Christian proclaiming that they are “reclaiming the rainbow,” criticizing businesses, or being a keyboard warrior. (and I have personally had to mourn and repent of the destruction I have caused with those tactics).
Proverbs 18:12,” Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.”
Pride is going to lead to destruction. That should bring us to our knees in mourning and pleading with God to change people’s hearts. Let’s not respond to pride with our own pride. Let’s model humility.This month is going to be hard for me. I am going to have to bite my tongue. I’m going to have to be quick to listen and slow to speak. I’m going to have to plead with God to give me a soft heart that would soften the hearts of others. Would you join me in that?