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s time has passed and as I have spent time assisting people in furthering their walk with Jesus it is my firm belief the majority of difficulties people experience regarding sexuality and sexual orientation really have nothing to do with these issues.
Rather, I believe they instead wrestle with self-love, self-image, self-acceptance, self-actualization and self-esteem. When these truer issues are addressed in Jesus Christ then the sexuality and sexual orientation will naturally and without effort fall into place and its proper holy expression.
Since you've been fighting against yourself for so long, now in Christ you shall begin to experience yourself for the first time, to walk in the life God desires for you.
ave you even seen the bumper sticker that says, "God is my co-pilot?" I hate those things. I'm sorry, but for me, and I hope you, too, God is my pilot and I am the co-pilot. God determines where I am going, and I help Jesus get me there. God has the pilot skills to steer me through troubled skies, determine the best plan and route for the journey. What is the coolest of all is that God is actually on the journey, and I am not traveling alone.
Neither are you. You are not alone, you are not without a pilot, without a map. However, you can be sitting there on the runway not going anywhere. You have to want to take the trip and choose the pilot, you have to allow the pilot to plot and plan the trip, and be willing to give your share of the work in the journey.
But where are you going? Here's a revelation for you. A plane does not fly itself. The pilot determines where it goes. A plane doesn't sit there and decide it's going to Europe, the pilot wants to go to Asia, and the plane wins the decision. So, who's making the decisions in your life, the pilot or the plane? Who controls you? Is it your body, your mind, your friends, what other people say, or is it Jesus and your inner person, your spirit? Sadly, I see everyday a lot of planes flopping on the runways of life trying to fly.
Your inner spirit is the real you, it is where Jesus and the Holy Spirit reside, it is this part of you which is new. Now you need to grow and move your inner person outward, effecting the rest of you and your world. A baby has to crawl, and then stand and walk, you have to do the same in your heart. No one expects you to instantly run and win any races, least of all God. God does desire you to move, and will help you learn how when you ask. God will give you the directions where to go in your walk when you ask, and God will give you the ability to win the race in the end. Like any child, you will fall down, but you won't stay down unless you choose to stay down. Somehow, I think you desire to stay up. I know God desires such for you.
Like moving to a new city, it takes some getting used to, you have new surroundings, you explore new places and things, learn about it and yourself in the process. Walking in your new inner self and self-image is very similar. You have to get used to the new place, the new you. In starting this journey, you may be naturally nervous, scared, and may be tempted to retreat to the old patterns of life and behavior. You may be homesick for the old place, or desire to give up and return to it. But, you should continually recognize and reinforce to yourself that any uncertainties about your new self-image and life is natural and normal and in the long run so much better and more healthy than any measure of comfort you supposedly might get from your old life patterns.
Since you've been fighting against the real you, which includes your sexual orientation, you now will begin to experience the real you for the first time. You will begin to experience thoughts, feelings and desires long suppressed or repressed. I am not talking about sexual things, either, though I would guess you probably think I am. No, I am talking about thoughts, interests, hobbies, values, desires, and needs you either didn't know you had, or actually had but suppressed and repressed. As you begin to walk in your new self-image openly, you will discover new things about yourself, other people and the world around you.
Our sexuality is but a part of who we are, but it does permeate a lot of who we are. Often when a person comes out positively as gay, it also begins to affect how the person sees the world around. You may find yourself interested in activities, hobbies, and interests you didn't know about. I did. When I had a poor self-image of myself, I rarely took part in social activities. For example, I always liked music, sang in some choirs, but I never fully explored my musical self. After I came out positively as gay, I began to feel better about myself, my self-image. Part of the result of this was I now attend music workshops, participate in music groups, took up a new musical instrument, and express myself through music and composition. A few years ago, I even danced for the first time in my life.
In walking in newness of life you will also find arising within you the old person. The old person is dead, but it may not be buried yet. You bury the old person by building on the new person. Your old person may try to exercise control, and try to express itself negativity; it doesn't like not being in charge anymore. You can't just ignore the old person, you can't just hope these old fears, and habits, feelings, etc. will go away on their own. You have to learn from what needs to be learned, let go of what needs letting go, build on what needs building, reinforce what is good, edifying and of lasting positive value.
In the past, since it was so natural and common for you to react to life in negative patterns, you probably didn't notice half the time when you were in the midst of them. But, as you begin to see yourself as God sees you, begin to walk in your new and better self-image, you may notice or be confronted by old negative patterns. Now for the first time you are seeing the forest and not just the trees. Sometimes these feelings can be strong and demanding. Most of them controlled you at one time or another, they don't like not being in charge anymore, and they will sometimes try all the harder to be noticed. But, they are toothless and de-clawed lions, they can roar and that's about it, harmless and not worth the effort, unless you choose to act or react to them, allow them to continue to bind and control you. You need to see them for what they are, see yourself as who you really are, and acknowledge to yourself the backing and support of the God of the Universe behind you. Because you are now able to see that these poor feelings were because you once saw yourself and your sexual orientation in a poor light, you are able to better deal with them, put them in their place, resolve them, and go on from them.
You don't need to be afraid of these negative "feelings" when they appear, their appearance is evidence of the beginnings of your new life. You are recognizing them for what they are, you are determining if they are for your good or if they are not. Just because they appear doesn't mean you've backslid into them again, or given in to your old self. Even if you do happen to weaken to them, don't lose heart, Jesus cares and will help you. Keep up the good work, your reward is great. You can't just remove something without putting something else in its place. You have to fill the vacuum created with something else, with positive things, positive feelings, habits, choices, and then reinforce them, building upon them. You can't turn from one thing without replacing it with another. You have to replace the bad ways of behavior with good ways of behavior. You have to be in tune with yourself, recognize yourself, and acknowledge it all.
In the past you often suppressed or repressed your "feelings," both good and bad. Now is the time when you need to acknowledge them. To acknowledge them means just that, to recognize them for what they are. You then use the Law of Love to determine if these feelings are positive, lead to your edification and growth, or if they are negative, lead to abuse of self and other people. Professionals generally teach we are responsible for our actions and not for our feelings, that feelings are neutral until acted upon. But, Jesus said thoughts are equal to action. Just because we feel something does not mean we should act on it. I believe further, just because you have a feeling doesn't mean it's acceptable to have it in the first place, not all feelings are neutral until acted upon.
Any thought or feeling which is not Love should be rejected and neither considered nor acted upon. By this I do not mean you deny its existence, repress or suppress it again. Acknowledgment means recognizing a negative feeling for what it is, learning from it, learn it's origins, and see it as it really is, your enemy. Acknowledgement means recognizing a positive feeling for what it is, and reinforcing and building upon it.
If it is a negative feeling, then you need to know how to properly handle it, without compromising your new self. When you are confronted with a negative feeling, recognize it as such, and recognize that you actually have more choices now than you did in the past. In the past your natural reaction may have been to act on it, give in to it, or to deny it and suppress it. Now you have more choices instead. You can make healthy choices, which are Love.
If you find yourself sexually attracted to someone you have the choice of not responding to it in negative ways like you did in the past. Instead, you can choose to see the person as someone of inherent worth, desire to develop friendship and relationship with the person, and channel your sexual feelings in positive and meaningful ways. If you routinely turned to chemical or substance abuse to numb yourself, you now can choose to remain sober and express yourself, choose healthier activities to resolve inner conflicts, life disappointments, etc. If you tended to seek acceptance through over achievement or perfectionism, for example, you now can choose to be more accepting of yourself instead, find more reasonable boundaries and more attainable goals. If you tended to avoid people, or relationships with people, for fear of being hurt or rejected, you can now approach people more positively. If they continue to reject you, for choosing to not know you, they are the losers and not you.
You may discover things from your past or childhood that had negative influences on your life. You may not of had control over these things happening to you, but you do have the choice of whether or not you are going to continue to let them control you, bind you and keep you defeated. If these negative things happened because of people, you may have to forgive them, even if they are no longer around, and let go of the bad feelings you've held; this emotional baggage hurts no one but yourself, a heavy burden Christ wants you to release. Sadly, if these negative people are still in your life, you may need to separate yourself from them, or set up healthy boundaries to guard yourself and your heart.
As you recognize the reasons why you chose unhealthy patterns of life and behaviors, you will be better able to deal with them when they arise again. For example, if you understand the past reason why you engaged in poor sexual behaviors was because you were lonely, or needed love and acceptance, you will now better be able to recognize those feelings and channel yourself more positively. Instead of partaking in poor sexual choices, you can choose to have a friend over to visit and to talk, or you can find hobbies and activities to relieve your boredom, etc. If your self-dislike spilled over into abuse of your body, like over eating, smoking or drinking too much, not taking good care of your health, etc., you can now choose positive things, lose weight and eat better, exercise, learn moderation, and take better control of your health.
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