Every spiritual gift has a downside. I have the spiritual gift of teaching, which means listening to others isn’t something that comes easily for me. If you are designed to be a talker, it’s easy to think that you always have something important to say.
Having been married for the last nine years, I have been strongly encouraged to become a better listener; at least I think that is what she is saying. Perhaps you know someone who has the spiritual gift of generosity, and if left to their own impulses they would give away their house, their car and everything else they owned to the first person they saw. I think the same could be said for any spiritual gift. A talent taken to the extreme can become a hindrance instead of a blessing.
This is becoming painfully obvious in today’s culture with those who have the gift of compassion. I have seen it affect the theology of many God-fearing individuals, and it all seems to center around the issue of sexuality.
I recently served at several youth camps in various states where I taught on the issue of sexuality and God’s design for men and women. The people who struggle with this idea the most are those to whom God has given a heart of care and compassion. Compassion, when taken too far can lead people to a place changing cultural morality above the everlasting teachings of God.
I can understand that, for some, it’s a difficult line to see. How do we teach the loving commands of God to those who have a morality that does not line up with God’s teachings? Do we just take the Bible and beat them over the head with commandments? Do we just ignore it and hope that God brings them? Or, as some have done, do we ignore what we know to be true in our minds so that out hearts are free to accept things God does not find acceptable?
Some Christians struggle to find a way to completely love those in the LGBTQ community and still be faithful to God’s teachings. But Scripture is clear about sexuality and that we are always to stand on the side of truth. Isaiah 5:20 reminds us, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…”
I do think that there is a solution to this dilemma for those with the gift of compassion. Whenever I teach on this subject I always emphasize the ways in which Jesus is better. Whatever freedom and liberation is claimed by the world by the addition of new labels and gender types, Jesus is truly more liberating and more freeing.
I encourage people to love their gay and lesbian friends more fully, not less. The type of liberation that the world offers only comes with more chains. The world’s idea of freedom is nothing more than the creation of a new label. Switching from one prison to another is not freedom, yet this is all the world has to offer.
Jesus is the only one who can truly free us from the labels of the world. If God has blessed you with the heart of compassion I want you to really know, that Jesus is always the better option.