I’m kind of realizing. Ever since I was little I was taught gays are bad. People who do drugs are bad, people who curse, smoke, drink, lesbians, trans, bi, these people are NOT us. They are not following God, they are “living in sin.”
But it’s dawned on me, that by preaching and teaching and conditioning us to see these people as being SO DIFFERENT from ourselves, to see these people as sinful, dirty, DIFFERENT, we are putting up walls. We are closing our minds and our eyes and our hearts off from seeing past the label we’ve slapped on them. We label them as a certain type of person and that’s that.
And inadvertently, I feel like what we’re being told and taught is that these people’s differences are BAD. While they don’t come right out and say it, that’s the unspoken message. That all we see is the “sin” (and I say “sin” because the community I grew up in considered it that). We don’t see the person.
I am so crazily guilty of this. I can preach it because I have lived it. I saw (and am working on unseeing) gay people as bad, evil, dirty, gross, living in sin, people. THAT IS SUCH A F-ING STEREOTYPE. Because of that theory, we put up walls, just like Satan wants us to.
But guess what? And here’s the kinda crazy thing. Jesus didn’t put up walls.
He broke down the walls. Jesus didn’t pay attention to the stereotypes and labels the Pharisees and the people put on to others. Those who were “unclean” were not just labeled “unclean” to Him. They had a name, they mattered.
He shoved through those walls, past the labels, past the stereotypes, past the so-called “evil” and saw and met the person.
He didn’t let the label, and the walls others put up around these people deter him from seeing that these, yes these, are the ones he wanted to, and wants me to touch and see and love.
That maybe their labels to Him weren’t just giant signs saying “turn back now,” “evil,” “sinful,” “different.”
Maybe He said “Hey, these are My people. These are the people I want to, get to, need to love.”
I’m sorry for seeing you as being different from me. I’m sorry for choosing to see only the label. Forgive me and give me a second chance.
And hey, practicing what I preach on this is a completely different story, but I don’t want it to be. I want it to real. So Lord, here I am. Forgive my ignorance, my blindness, my pride, and the walls I’ve put up. Help me, teach me, make me more like You.