Love Is Our Nature

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So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 John 4:16

There is an old fable about a saint and a scorpion. I’m not sure where it originates from, though it sounds somewhat Indian in origin to me. It goes something like this. One day there was a saint meditating near the river. After he had finished his meditation, the saint opened his eyes and saw a scorpion floating helplessly in the water for his survival. As the scorpion was washed closer to the tree, the saint quickly stretched himself out on one of the long roots that branched out into the river and reached out to save the drowning scorpion. As soon as he touched it, the scorpion stung him. Impulsively the saint withdrew his hand. A minute later, after he had regained his balance, he stretched himself out again on the roots to save the scorpion. This time the scorpion stung him so badly with its venomous tail that his hand became swollen and bloody and his face contorted with pain.

At that moment, an onlooker saw the saint stretched out on the roots struggling with the scorpion and shouted: “Stupid man, what’s wrong with you? Only a fool would risk his life for the sake of an ugly, evil creature. Don’t you know you could kill yourself trying to save that ungrateful scorpion?”

The saint turned his head. Looking into the stranger’s eyes he said calmly, “My friend, just because it is the scorpion’s nature to sting, that does not change my nature to save.”

The moral of the story is that most of the time we changed ourselves due to the nature and attitude of the other person and loose our own unique identity. I think oftentimes as LGBT Christians we do this ourselves. We struggle with our sexuality and our faith because we are too often taught that they contradict each other. However, it is only because we do not have faith enough in God to guide us along the correct path. If we had faith in God’s infallibility, then we would realize that God created us homosexual. He would not have created us that way merely in order for us to fail, but it is human nature to have doubt, when we should look to God for faith instead.

Human nature is that which makes us distinctly human. Our nature is distinct from that of the animals and the rest of creation in that we can think and feel. One of the chief distinctions between human beings and the rest of creation is our ability to reason. No other creature has this ability, and there’s no question that this is a unique gift bestowed by God. Our reason enables us to reflect on our own nature and the nature of God and to derive knowledge of God’s will for His creation. No other part of God’s creation has a nature capable of reason.

The Bible teaches that God created human beings in His image. This means that He enables us to have some understanding of Him and of His vast and complex design. Our human nature reflects some of God’s attributes, although in a limited way. We love because we are made in the image of the God who is love (1 John 4:16). Because we are created in His image, we can be compassionate, faithful, truthful, kind, patient, and just. In us, these attributes are distorted by sin, which also resides in our nature.

Originally, human nature was perfect by virtue of having been created so by God. The Bible teaches that human beings were created “very good” by a loving God (Genesis 1:31), but that goodness was marred by the sin of Adam and Eve. Subsequently, the entire human race fell victim to the sin nature. The good news is that at the moment a person trusts in Christ, he receives a new nature. Second Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Sanctification is the process by which God develops our new nature, enabling us to grow into more holiness through time. This is a continuous process with many victories and defeats as the new nature battles with the “tent” (2 Corinthians 5:4) in which it resides—the old man, the old nature, the flesh. Not until we are glorified in heaven will our new nature be set free to live for eternity in the presence of the God in whose image we are created.

Therefore, as LGBT Christians we have a further step, a further test, than most Christians. We can follow the steps of salvation, but we must also have faith that God created us in his image. We must have faith that God created us to be attracted to and love those of the same sex. No matter what the flaws of man may be, or the sin that mankind tempts us with its doubts, we must be strong in out faith and believe that God made us who we are and know that He is love.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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