So what about the Christian advantage? Is there one for the community?
Life is like dropping a pebble into a pool of water. At birth, all ripples are concentrated in the center. As a person matures, the rings of social interaction and influence circle outward. For the Christian advantage to be truly advantageous, every ring must be advanced by the values of the Christian life.
It is the purpose of this page to focus on one of the outer center rings. Is there a Christian advantage for the community?
Consider this sample answer to one of the questions addressed on this topic.
How do I help my homosexual friend?
Until a person acknowledges the problem, is broken before God, and accepts the Lord’s unconditional authority, he cannot find lasting peace or escape from the temptations of homosexuality. On the other hand, once a person has entered into full submission, God has promised that “he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” (I Corinthians 10:13, NIV)
The key to effectively dealing with the temptation of homosexuality can be found in the acronym A.L.L. God asks you to do A.L.L. that you can do. A is for ask, L is for look and L is for leave.
A is for Ask
A little boy was given his first real money-making opportunity. A neighbor had offered him ten dollars to move a wood pile across the yard. Curious, and a little concerned, the boy’s father repeatedly peeked out the side window to check on his son’s progress.
Late that afternoon, an exhausted, dirt-covered seven-year-old collapsed on the living room floor. “Dad, I tried,” said the boy with a tone of disappointment, “I tried, but I just couldn’t get it all done. I’m sorry. I know you want me to finish a job when I start one, but I just can’t do anymore. I’m sorry. I’ve done all I could.”
The father walked over, lifted the tired young man into his arm and held him close for a long moment. “No Son, you didn’t do everything you could. You didn’t ask me for help.”
God wants and expects us to let Him help with this difficult problem. In I Corinthians 10:13 He gave us this wonderful promise, “...God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (NIV)
Those struggling with the temptation of homosexuality should ask their loving heavenly Father to provide two things:
First, strength to “stand up under it”. In Philippians 2:13 Paul says, “...it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (NIV) God is the power that works within you. He will provide you with the power to act His way. Spend much time in prayer. It is your link to the power.
Secondly, ask God to run ahead of you and clear the path of temptation. In Matthew 6:13 Jesus told us to pray to the Father in this way, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (NIV) God does not tempt us with evil (James 1:13), but He does on occasion allow Satan to tempt us in order to build our faith. Ask God to build your faith but to protect you from any temptation that Satan might use to defeat you.
L is for Look
The second step to effectively dealing with the temptation of homosexuality is recognition. Christians must look for and avoid areas of temptation.
In I Thessalonians 5:22 the Holy Spirit gives this warning, “Avoid every kind of evil.” (NIV) In James 4:7 we are told, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (NIV) Those tempted by the sin of homosexuality should be alert to the places and atmospheres that present this temptation and avoid them. I Corinthians 15:33 tells us that “Bad company corrupts good character.” (NIV) People who present temptation should also be avoided. The apostle Peter said, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, stand firm in the faith...” (I Peter 5:8-9, NIV)
The war for control of your soul is real. Recognize your weaknesses. Avoid people, places and things that tempt you with this sin.
A young lady wanted to go to a party that she knew would include activities that Christians should avoid. Nevertheless, one of the most popular guys at school was having the party and she approached her father to plead for his permission.
“Honey, I love you and I don’t want you to get hurt,” was her father’s response. “But Dad,” the girl persisted, “Don’t you trust me? I’m a strong Christian and I know how to keep from getting burned by bad situations!”
Seeing his daughter’s determination, he led her over by the fireplace. “Sweetheart, I want you to reach down and pick up one of the coals from that fireplace.”
“I’ll show him!” the young girl thought to herself. She reached down and selected a coal that had rolled away from the fire and was no longer hot. With a proud look she lifted the coal, showed her father, then tossed it back. “See Dad, I know how to keep from getting burned!”
There was a short pause, then the father spoke. “Honey, look at your hand.” The girl looked down at the palm of her hand. It was covered with black ash. “Sweetheart, a coal will either burn you or make you dirty, but either way you are effected.”
To effectively overcome the temptation of homosexuality, Christians must learn to recognize the areas they should avoid. People, places and things will impact your life. Many of them will either burn you or make you dirty, but either way you will be effected.
Christians must also look for God’s escape route. With every door that Satan closes in order to trap you in, God opens a window in order to let you out. In I Corinthians 10:13 we are given this wonderful promise, “...when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (NIV) Ask God to show you His windows.
In James 1:1-8, we are told to pray for wisdom when confronted with “trials of many kinds”. (NIV) God has promised that “...he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” (I Corinthians 10:13, NIV) Ask Him to give you wisdom to see the ways of escape.
L is for Leave
The final step to overcoming the temptation of homosexuality is using the escape route. Remember, it is not a sin to be tempted. Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are...” (Hebrews 4:15, NIV) The sin is when we fail to use the God-given escape route and allow the temptation to lead us into disobedience.
In the Old Testament, we have an example of two men who reacted differently when confronted with sin. Joseph was tempted sexually by his master’s wife, but the scriptures say that he “ran” from the temptation. (Genesis 39:12, NIV) Although a brief time of discomfort followed his reaction, God remembered Joseph’s dedication and He exalted him from a prisoner to a ruler over Egypt.
In II Samuel 11, we find the story of another man who also was confronted with sexual temptation. Unlike Joseph, King David refused to use God’s escape route. He lusted over Bathsheba and called her to him. One sin led to another until his life was out of control. Guilt, cover-up, worry and shame ruled his life until he repented.
Like these two men, you can choose to deal with temptation by using God’s escape route or by refusing His help. Going through God’s exit is not always easy and it may not bring immediate reward, but God is faithful and, like Joseph, He will remember you.
On the other hand, if you refuse to access God’s way out, guilt, cover-up, worry and shame will surely dominate your life as it did David’s.
The key to effectively dealing with the temptation of homosexuality can be found in the acronym A.L.L. God asks you to do A.L.L. that you can do. Ask for God’s help. Look for His way of escape and learn to leave temptation behind.
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