Three Ways to Love People Where They Are

Today’s devotion, No Pressure, from Joyce Meyer’s book Love Out Loud inspired me. I immediately wanted to post the first sentence all over Facebook and Twitter: “One of the many ways we can love people is to allow them to be who they are.” Too many times, I feel my friends pressure me to become who they want me to be instead of who God wants me to be. Most of my friends shook their heads in disbelief when I came out as gay. They couldn’t imagine God creating someone who was attracted to the same-sex.

My love for God is the one thing that has stayed true in my life. No matter what I’ve been through – divorce, lost friendships, house fire, and death of my beloved spouse — I knew that God was there. By spending time in prayer, I have been able to use His strength to carry me through the ups and downs of life.

Accept Who God Created You To Be

Accepting myself as gay took a long time. I wrestled with God’s word, other people’s opinions, and the fear of being rejected for years. Finally, I decided to make up my own mind instead of blindly accepting what I had been taught by my parents. I knew I needed to be honest with my family and friends because I was tired of living a lie.

God loves and accepts me unconditionally and knowing that made it safe to tell others. I felt such peace with being honest. There isn’t anything I (or you) can do that will make Him love us any less. My hope is that my family and friends will accept me as God does.

A concerned friend questioned me after I came out publicly. She felt that as a leader in the church I might have a negative influence. But, I saw my influence as positive because I could help others in similar situations. No one should feel like they are unloved, unwanted, or uncared for just because they are created differently than others.

 “All of us need the freedom to be who we are. We want to be accepted unconditionally. This means we don’t want other people telling us how we need to change in order to be accepted by them.” Joyce Meyers

Share Your Concerns With Love

I cringe when the first words you say are, “because I love you, I have to tell you what the Bible says about homosexuality.” I know you mean well, but it’s not the best way to open up a conversation. The condemnation makes me want to close the door, hide, or hurt myself again. Your words are less about love and more about judgement as you point out what is wrong with me and how God made a mistake in creating me.

God calls us to love one another. Even A child will receive a hug and an “I love you,” when they do something wrong.   

Maybe start with, “I love you and I am concerned about you. I just want God’s best for you. I’d love to sit down and listen to your story with an open mind.” Or simply ask, “In what ways do you think God will use you now? or “How can I help you where you are?”  

It doesn’t matter if we’ve been friends for five minutes or five years, we need to soften our approach to the tough topics. Jesus shared his love with everyone. He sat down with the outcasts and people who were different. He spoke truth, but He did it with love.

Let’s approach hurting friends with love, hugs and a listening ear. Sometimes they’re not expecting any response at all, just a safe place to share what’s going on inside.  Remember, this lets you know what to pray about.   

Lasting Change Comes From God

God is the only one who can change a person, and that’s only if it’s in His will to do so. God used people in the Bible who were not perfect, and continues to use broken people.

He has already used my bruised heart to help others. The special gift bags I created for widows contain items that comforted me in my grief. As I handed them out, I received much love and thanks from the tears in their eyes. Now, I’m using my God-given gift to write words to ease heavy hearts. Readers have shared how my words bring them comfort and love.

God changes us from the inside and uses our hearts to help others.

I am using my experience as a gay Christian and my love for others to build a bridge between straight Christians and others like me. I feel God has called me to it.

Do you have a gay friend or family member? In what ways are you showing your love by allowing them to be who they are?  

Three Ways to Love People Where They Are

 

 

 

 

Why not purchase Love Out Loud and join me in this study?

 

By | 2016-11-24T13:21:42+00:00 November 16th, 2016|Daily Devotions, relationships|4 Comments

About the Author:

My name is Susan W (sue) Corbran. I am a writer, a Creative Memories consultant, a volunteer in Children's Ministry at my church, and an advocate for widows and gay Christians. I love helping people - whether it is by sharing my stories; consulting with others on how to preserve their most precious memories - photos and ways to tell their stories; or helping children learn about God - and for them to know that He loves them, no matter what! I am a Mom and a Grandma. I love to golf, travel, read, and listen to music (and play the piano and guitar, when available - simple songs!). Oh and I love to write - so be sure to read some of my blogs. I am a co-author of the book Emerge: Real Stories of Courage and Truth, An Amazon Best Seller, 2015, along with The Call to Soar, an Amazon Best Seller, 2016. An author of the ebook Five Simple Ways to Love Gay Christians You Need to Know Now, 2017, and other numerous blogs and articles for magazine contests. This year, 2017, I plan to publish a series of books for young adult (ages 9-14) in the genre of Christian Life. I also hope to publish a book of childhood memories (to share with my grandchildren). My hope is that God willl be praised and glorified by my writing for Him.

4 Comments

  1. Kelly Toney December 2, 2016 at 9:37 am - Reply

    This is great Sue! Being able to accept yourself and be who you are is the most freeing thing. I never thought I would ever be able to be myself, love someone so much, and actually be married to my soulmate! I wish I would of had your words to read when I was struggling with who I am. I know your words are very comforting to others going through what we both have. Your words are very inspiring to people like me that can relate and know how real the struggle has been.

    • Sue December 6, 2016 at 9:05 pm - Reply

      Thanks Kelly,
      I appreciate your kind words. You’re right in that, I know God is directing me to help others know they are loved by Him, unconditionally, even when others might not be able to understand. I’m looking forward to the time when we can meet in person, but until then, thanks for sharing your lives with the rest of us, as well. Seeing love in action – knowing it’s good and right – it makes all the difference. Sue

  2. Betsy Bruce Henning November 17, 2016 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    This is a beautifully sad post, dear sister in Christ. I wish we straight Christians wouldn’t address your sexuality at all. Though I may have at one time been that kind of Christian who would feel compelled to set someone straight (pun intended) out of concern for their eternal well being…as if there were no Holy Spirit to do the convicting, now I know there is no excuse for such judging.

    Do we share verses about greed with our wealthy brothers and sisters and tell them they have no place serving in church until they sell everything they have and give it to the poor? Do we share verses about: gluttony with the over weight, pride and arrogance with pastors who are a bit too full of themselves, adultery with people who are divorced and remarried? Do we tell them they can’t serve in church until they are thin and completely humble and not divorced or remarried, which would entail getting divorced again. No, we share Jesus and the good news, because therein lies our salvation. We all throw ourselves at his mercy and because of his finished work on the cross we are all found righteous!

    Wow, I just wrote a blog post rather than a comment.

    Again, your words are beautiful. Your life is beautiful. And, I thank you for helping your brothers and sisters in Christ learn to love people where they are and for exactly who they are! May God continue to use you and bless you.

    • Sue November 18, 2016 at 9:15 am - Reply

      Thanks for your heartfelt words, Betsy. Sometimes we just need to step up and share where we are in the process of loving and accepting unconditionally. May God bless you in this journey of your own. Hugs

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