“God loves me unconditionally.  He doesn’t stand over me just waiting to pounce on my every sin.  Especially when it come to my same-sex attraction and the occasional sex I have.”

“We’ve talked about the ‘God made me gay’ thing.  What do you mean when you say that God loves you unconditionally?”

“I mean ‘God is love’ like it says in the Bible.  One of my other favorite verses in the Bible is John 1:17 where it says Jesus is full of grace and truth.  I really like the ‘grace’ part.”

“Why?”

“God’s grace means that He doesn’t mind that I’m a sinner.”

“I don’t think that’s what grace really means: God does mind that we sin against Him.”

“Yeah, but not in a condemning way because He is love.  Like, I don’t have to feel really guilty that I sin since He gives grace.”

“I’m not sure I’m following: are you saying that when we sin, we shouldn’t feel guilty about it?”

“Right.  If you feel guilty when you sin, then you haven’t understood grace.  Remember: God is love.”

“You keep saying that ‘God is love’ and I know that’s what the Bible says.  But this other stuff doesn’t make sense to me.  When I sin, I am guilty – I’ve broken God’s law.  I mean, there are times when I sin and I don’t feel guilty about it but I think that’s bad because I should.  But there are other times when I do sin and I feel terrible.”

“You shouldn’t, though.”

“Why?  Isn’t God’s Spirit convicting me of my sins?”

“I’m not sure but I don’t think so.  I just think you don’t understand the grace of God.  Because God is love, I don’t think that means He’d be unloving to you.”

“So, conviction that makes me feel terrible about my sin isn’t from God?”

“All I’m saying is that God is love and if that’s true why would He make you feel terrible – especially since we are under grace?”

“Well, that’s easy.  God isn’t only love.  He is also just (Deuteronomy 32:4).  He is a consuming fire of judgment (Hebrews 12:29).  He is holy and can’t abide any sin in anyone (Isaiah 6:3-4).  He is a Father who disciplines His children (Hebrews 12:7-11).”

“But God is love at His core.  So, these other things aren’t who He really is.”

“Why do you think that?  The Bible doesn’t say that.  What do you think love is?”

“Love is accepting you for who you are and loving you despite your failures.”

“Love has no agenda for you?”

“Just acceptance and approval.”

“I see.  Do you ever run red lights?”

“I do.  Who doesn’t?”

“True.  But let’s say that you ran them regularly; with impunity.  You didn’t really care what might happen to you or others – you just want to run them.”

“So?”

“Well, if I knew this was true about you, what would you want me to do?”

“I don’t understand.  If you knew that I ran red lights for fun or something?”

“Right.  What would you want me to do?”

“Running red lights are dangerous!  I could kill someone or I could be killed.  I could get a ticket and have to pay a lot of money.  I’d want you to tell me to stop.”

“But wouldn’t that be unloving – the way you define love, I mean?  Shouldn’t I just accept this is what you do and give you approval?  Shouldn’t I just chalk it up to your failures?  No.  In that moment when I would tell you to stop, that’s love.  When I act for your good and the good of others, isn’t that love?  Isn’t that exactly what God does when He tells you not to sin?”

#godislove, #ssa, #samesexmarriage