I hope this letter finds you well. As we find ourselves in “pride month,” you have been on my heart and mind. I’m writing to you because you have confided in me that you struggle with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to walk through an entire month dedicated to celebrating the very sins that you are trying to put to death. As your brother in Christ, I want to remind you of the truth of the Gospel and encourage you to stand firm. We live in a time when our culture tells you that it is both virtuous and good to embrace your temptation and you need to be reminded of God’s goodness and mercy that has freed you from being who you once were.
God created you for his pleasure and he has called you according to his purposes. Before you can effectively fight against your sin, you must remember that it is God, not your temptation, who decides who you are. Don’t believe the lie that your sin is indelibly engraved upon you and can’t be removed. Your lusts do not define you but rather, you are made in the image of God. He has placed his name upon you and has claimed you as his own. You have been baptized into his name and he has called you unto himself, setting you apart from the world as a recipient of his affection, sparing you from the wrath that your sin deserved.
You are a child of the living God, created for good works, and he has destined you for glory.
The world wants you to believe that you are defined by your sexual desires and that joy can only be found in embracing them and living as your “authentic self.” They want you to believe that you are being denied true fulfillment by refusing to succumb to them. Nothing could be further from the truth! You are a child of the living God, created for good works, and he has destined you for glory. In Christ Jesus, you have been given every spiritual gift and you lack nothing.
When you were younger, you gave yourself over to these sins. You know what it feels like to yield to lust and you know the feelings of shame and despair that immediately follow when you do. Do you remember the freedom you experienced when you first learned that God promised to forgive your sins if you confessed them to him? I remember when you first called out to the Lord, asking him to forgive you. What a glorious day that was!
Allow me to remind you of the truth that set you free: God loves you and sent his son Jesus to die for your sin. On the third day, he rose from death, breaking the hold it has over you. In Jesus, you are perfectly forgiven and loved. Through Jesus, all things are being made new, and that includes you!
Be vigilant in your fight against sin! Consistently spend time in God’s Word and with God’s people in worship.
You are called by God to grow in holiness, day by day putting to death the sins that so easily creep back in, re-ensnaring you if you give them space to flourish. Be vigilant in your fight against sin! Consistently spend time in God’s Word and with God’s people in worship. Walk in the light as he is in the light. Sin thrives in darkness, and you will need to confess your sin regularly to fellow Christians who know your struggles and will walk with you through them. Sit under the teaching of godly men who will pastor and shepherd your soul. Submit to their leadership and trust that God has given them to you as a gift, to care for you and help you in your fight against sin. Give yourself to the service of God and his people, pouring yourself out so that they might know Christ and believe these truths themselves!
Christian, this month will be hard. I know that as you look around at the flags, the parades, and the people celebrating the sin that you know grieves God, you will be tempted to doubt. You will be tempted to believe that God is not good and that he messed up when he made you. Satan will lie to you, telling you that your sin is actually godly and that God wouldn’t want to deny you pleasures that everyone around you gets to enjoy. You will be tempted to pity yourself. The worst will be when others who claim to be Christians tell you that what God has deemed sin is not actually sin and that you should embrace it. Don’t listen to these lies. Satan wants nothing more than to deceive you and make you doubt God’s goodness. God hears your prayers and your cries for deliverance. A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench.
Put on the full armor of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
When Satan’s lies are loud, cling to God’s Word and his promises all the more. Don’t give the devil a foothold or any opportunity to preach falsehood to you. Put on the full armor of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. These are the weapons that God has given you to fight against Satan and the powers of darkness. Wield them often, and don’t lay them down willingly. We take up these weapons together every Sunday as we gather for worship. I intend to write more soon about how our corporate worship helps us actively engage in spiritual warfare but for now, I’ll just say this: God has given us a family in the Church, and we are called into battle together. You aren’t just fighting for your own holiness and joy but also for theirs.
As you go through this month, please don’t hesitate to ask for prayer. Scripture says that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much, and as your brother, it is an honor to continue to lift you up before the Lord. I will intercede on your behalf, asking God to sustain you through trials and temptation. Don’t forget that he is your daily bread and that when you are in need, he promises to be with you, even unto death itself.
I’m in your corner and am continuing to pray for you.