Saturday, January 26, 2008

Focus On God: A Change of Heart, A New Strategy

The last few weeks I've been trying to come to some logical understanding of my beliefs about homosexuality, and the way I should be responding to the homosexual desires that I have. Since just before Christmas I've been taking a different approach to how I fight those homosexual temptations. I've tried to put my thoughts into words several times now, about what this new approach or new strategy is, but nothing I've written has seemed to fully explain how I've been feeling and what I've been doing. So, I decided to be simple and just make a list of what I believe, what I want, and what I need to do in regards to overcoming homosexuality. The following is that list.

(1) I believe homosexual behavior is wrong.

(2) I don't believe God made me, or anyone else, gay. I don't believe He ever intended for anyone to have homosexual attractions.

(3) I believe it's possible for me to change my sexual attractions. With God, all things are possible as the Bible says, and I believe that includes even this.

(4) I want to change. However, if I am unable to change, or become straight, I want to be honest about that, and make the most of the situation, without losing hope.

(5) I don't need to get frustrated about what homosexual attractions or desires I have. God doesn't hold them against me, so why should I? They're nothing more than temptations, and no worse than any other temptation.

(6) I don't need to worry anymore about not gaining any attractions toward women. God doesn't require or demand of me to be attracted to women. If it happens, great, if not, it won't be the end of the world.

(7) I need to resist all homosexual temptations.

(8) I need to resist looking at pornography, masturbating, and creating sexual fantasies. These things only make me feel more homosexual.

(9) Whenever I am tempted, I need to go straight to God and pray for His help to be able to resist. I need to turn to Him whenever I see a temptation coming my way.

(10) If I do give into a particular temptation, I don't need to beat myself up for that or become all depressed about it. Rather, I should ask for God's forgiveness, accept His grace, and try harder the next time to not give in.

(11) The reason I don't want to give into temptations is because I love God and I don't want to hurt Him.

(12) I need to seek first the kingdom of God in all things. I need to ask myself if a particular action is one that God would want me to take. And I need to spend more time with God—in prayer, worship, reading His word, and being in fellowship with other believers—in order to help me know His will for my life.

(13) I need to trust God. I need to listen and accept what He tells me.

(14) I need to believe that whether my attractions change or not, things will work out as God has planned.

(15) I need to believe that God really does love me. He loves me even when I sin.

(16) I need to continue trying to see myself as God sees me; as somebody of worth and importance to Him.

(17) I need to continue trying to see others as God sees them. He sees them as He sees me. And I should have compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and love for them as God has for me.

(18) I need to continue trying to make friends. I love being able to love them and to be loved by them. They're a blessing in my life.

(19) I need to be more patient, more self-controlled, and less self-centered.

(20) I want to do more for God. I need to do more for God.

This is my new strategy, my new direction. I'm still in the fight, but I'm fighting smarter than I had been. I'm not worrying, I'm not getting frustrated—I'm being more patient and more honest with myself. And above all else, I'm putting my focus on God. I'm trusting Him and accepting His love and forgiveness, maybe for the first time in my life. I'm in this fight for Him. Not for me, but for Him. That's the difference, the change I've been trying to describe. I've got it now! It's all for Him. It's not about changing my attractions or about what I want. It's about loving God and trying to live my life the best I can for Him. I don't have to be perfect. I just have to try. And that's what I'm going to do. I think that's a cause worth really fighting for. It's a cause I really do want to fight for.

10 comments:

jennypo said...

This is beautiful, and so are you, brother. You remind me of the deep loveliness of God that still exists even in a world as battle-scarred and sin-polluted as ours. How different is your plan from anything we could dream up! It calls forth praise to our great God.

Thanks for this. God be with you, and bless you.

Brandon said...

Thanks, Jennypo, for the very kind remarks. Yes! Praise God. And may God bless you too. :)

Pastor Dazed said...

amen

Beast said...

Keep hanging on in there! The Lord will give you strength! AMEN!

RikFleming said...

Brandon,

I am glad to hear that you are clear on your convictions such as, “I believe homosexual behavior is wrong.”

However, when you say, “I don't believe God made me, or anyone else, gay...” there does seem to be some scientific evidence that SSA is caused by global warming, second hand smoke and a failure to recycle. So, you may want to consider those things.

Seriously, we do need to keep in mind the “big picture” of what it means to become like Jesus in obeying the Father and loving our neighbor. We need to be equally concerned with all areas of our sanctification, many of which are precursors to SSA issues and act as symbionts (they come along with it as a package deal and feed this sinful attraction).

I love ya bro!

Rik

Brandon said...

PD, great to hear from you. I hope you're doing well.

You hang in there too, Beast.

Rik, oh my gosh! You mean my failure to recycle made me gay!? I never knew. I'd better go right now and start sorting the garbage. ;) haha

Okay, so in all seriousness, I agree with what you said in that last little bit you mentioned. I am still going to work on many, many areas of my sanctification. I'm just not going to worry and get frustrated anymore about what attractions I have. If they change, great, if not, it won't be the end of the world. They'll be whatever they'll be, and I'll make the most of the situation by following God and spending more time focused on Him and doing the things He wants me to do. I think that's the best way for me to move forward.

And love back at ya! :)

Brandon

Jay said...

Actually, I did hear of a preacher who caused a recent stir by saying that soy in baby formula has lead to an increase in homosexuality amongst America's youth.

Not. Even. Kidding.

Anyway, while I do agree that God didn't make anyone homosexual (just as He didn't make anyone sinful), do make sure to not blame yourself, or your family, for your attraction. We are human. Thus, we are fallen, and homosexuality is simply one sympton of that fallen state. All of our struggles are different, and in terms of sinfulness and depravity, you are no worse or better than anyone else.

Anyway, spectacular list. I think I can learn a thing or two (or ten, or twenty) from it. I'm giving up my blog for Lent and using the extra time to focus on some issues in my life, so you're gonna need to fill my blogosphere niche while I'm gone.

;-)

Jus' kidding. God bless, kiddo.

Brandon said...

Jay,

Thanks a bunch. Yeah, I'll try not to blame myself or anyone else. If I was going to blame anyone, I'd blame the devil actually. I think that's where that should lie. But I do know sometimes it's hard for me not to look back and blame myself some or others for how they treated me. Perhaps that should be added to the list? #21 I don't need to dwell upon the past and asign blame. Maybe that would actually be two things?

Scary thought about soy. I hadn't heard that before. I actually grew up surrounded by a soybean field. No joke. If ONLY I'd known?

Anyway, thanks for the input, and I'm glad if the list could help you any. I'm glad you liked it. I'll miss reading your blog the next 40 days (that's right, isn't it?), but I know you're doing it for a good cause. Just don't give it up for good!

Bless ya, friend. :)

Brandon

Joe said...

That's a great list Brandon. We can all be too hard on ourselves at times. It's always good to remind ourselves that in the eyes of God we don't have to be perfect. He loves us as we are.

Brandon said...

Well said, Joe.

Good to hear from you. :)