Leaving your unwanted sexual behaviors behind is going to mean suffering of one kind or another. Otherwise, you’re using the “F” word.
Not that “F” word. I’m talking about a cursing of a different kind, and all dressed up like a gift.
It’s the curse of being Fine.
Ten years ago, during my yearly physical with a brand new physician, my doctor made the comment, “Well, you’re getting older so it’s to be expected you’ll be carrying a few more pounds.”
At first I just took the information in. It felt a bit like good news, a reason to relax a bit and enjoy eating whatever I wanted. After all, this was a doctor. But later, I realized how faulty her words were. It’s true I’m getting older. And as my body slows down, it would be easier for me to gain weight. But that doesn’t mean I have to!
She was offering me the new four letter ‘F’ word. She was saying, It’s Fine. You’re Fine. You don’t have to try, and you certainly don’t have to suffer.
In the realm of sex and sexuality, there are similar versions of this same theme:
- If the temptations aren’t going away, it’s because it’s who you are. It’s fine.
- As long as the sex is between consenting adults and doesn’t hurt anyone, it’s fine.
- If you’ve felt this way all your life; it’s because God made you this way. It’s fine.
- Everybody uses porn. It’s fine.
- I’m just checking her out. What’s wrong with looking as long as I don’t touch? It’s fine.
- What my spouse doesn’t know won’t hurt him/her. It’s fine.
Each of these comes disguised as a blessing, promising a way out of the harder road of suffering, and maybe even an end to the inner conflict between desire and devotion to God.
But there’s a problem. It’s not real.
I was having lunch with a friend who experiences same-sex desires. He gets lonely and hates the idea of never getting married. And yet, when I asked him why he doesn’t take the easier roads offered in our culture, he replied, “Well, Jesus suffered, and I’m following Him, so…”
His words were a sword cutting through the murky fine-ness surrounding us and revealing light from eternity. Our hope is not in watering down God’s commands and calling it “fine.” Our hope is that when we take up our crosses and follow Jesus, his path leads us to resurrection!
Friends, you don’t just want relief. You want restoration.
The problem with thinking you’re fine when you’re not is then you never will be. As long as you know you’re not all fine, then there remains the possibility of restoration. If God’s mercy flows to those who need it, then giving up being fine might just lead to becoming great.
Absolutely on target. Most of us are not fine. We may be feeling better than we did yesterday or the day before, and we may not be facing anything huge, but if we are honest, life is not perfect no matter who we are. Our doctor asks the question about how we are in a little different way; he says, “ what is going on for you that keeps you from telling me that life is perfect for you?” I like that because it leaves me space to be honest about those little pains in my body that I could say are just for aging, but that I really know might have a deeper, more serious consequence. Thank you, Josh. Your wisdom astonishes me.