Like the swirling of flushed water in a commode, your mind and emotions may have zoomed with the the onslaught of debates regarding transgender rights and the choice of public restrooms. It’s enough banter to make one want to shut the door and have some privacy. But before you lock it, take a minute to look in the mirror. Stop. Think. Regroup. And after that, go out and influence those in the world around you.
As you are leading yourself and others, there are the “3 Easy T’s” that you can remember on how to navigate through the transgender issues and any other controversial topic that will surface. These three steps can act as a filter for all you are processing. When you are looking at yourself and deciding how to respond, simply apply these three steps:
1. Think Biblically. Since the Bible is true, you can read and study it to find answers when faced with pressing issues. You don’t have to second-guess where to stand. Simply trust and obey what the Lord says about it. (And if you aren’t sure that the Bible is reliable, that’s okay. Take some time to learn more about it. Here is a starting point to study up on it: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/the-study-of-god/how-do-we-know-the-bible-is-true/how-do-we-know-bible-is-true)
Does this mean you can’t hear other opinions? Or take time to sift through your own thoughts and emotions? Certainly not! Go for it. But when it’s all said and done, you can rest and be 100% confident when you follow God’s way and His Word.
The Bible has been completely accurate on what will happen in the world as time goes on. There is a plan and its all unfolding exactly the way the Bible said it would be. The main direction of the world, including arguments over gender issues, is becoming further away from God and given over to unnatural desires because people do not acknowledge or accept Jesus. (Romans 1:24-25)
It seems unimaginable to even consider some of the issues we are debating over today. But again, this is no surprise as people who are living without a relationship with Jesus are left to their own sin, which is darkness. Anyone who is living in darkness and is considered “blind” truly can’t see or understand the light. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) People are going off their own whims if they have no clear vision of what they are doing. But if you have been given sight, by coming out of darkness through the Light of Jesus, then you don’t need to second-guess your decision when you settle on a cultural/political issue. You can see clearly and can know the path to take.
Think Biblically. Study and stand by it. But do it the way Jesus would, in love.
2. Treat people with love. Period. As you know where you stand and what you believe, communicate it in love. (I Cor. 16:13-14) Treat people as Jesus treated them. If they reject it, then pray for them and leave them but do it in love. Any form of disgust or hate will only make them more hurt, angry or unaccepting. But who can argue with love? (John 13:35)
Work hard to bring others into light. Don’t give up on people. Some of the sayings such as “Hate the game not the player”, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater”, and “Don’t judge the book by the chapter you just walked in on” have some valuable principles to remember. Whether its people who are choosing to become the opposite of their God-given gender or any other choice, sin is wrong. But the person is God’s creation and God doesn’t want anyone to die in their sin. (2 Peter 3:9) The whole reason Jesus came to earth is to save people from their sins. Everyone is capable of doing bizarre and incomprehensible things without the Savior.
Odds are, if you are walking in truth and light, someone showed you love in the midst of your sin.
3. Take action. As you are thinking Biblically and treating people with love, there are other actions you can do.
Talk openly about it at work and in the market or neighborhood. Silence doesn’t help others work through their own questions and concerns. Talking about it can bring light to situations.
Lead your children. This is a prime time for children to learn to think Biblically and process how to handle cultural controversies. Help them know what the Bible says and how to think. Show them how to be firm and stand strong when they share convictions on issues. Keep in mind their age and level but don’t shy away from teaching them how to navigate through it. They will need to know how to make this journey on their own in just a few years.
Pray about it. Seriously, pray. Don’t just think about praying or sit in silence when others are praying, but connect with God and get His heart on the issue at hand. Invite the Holy Spirit in to give you compassion, supernatural wisdom to see with discernment, and guidance on how to handle certain people. Prayer changes us. And prayer changes others as God hears you and works on your behalf.
Vote! In your stance to take action, cast your vote! Speak up in your community, write your state representatives, or sign a National Petition. Encourage and act positively, don't invoke opinionated anger. Your voice matters even if the nation seems too large to hear it. Remember, its individuals that make the whole world go ‘round! Do your part (in love!).
So before you shut and lock the door in an attempt to maintain your quiet privacy, look in the mirror and take ownership for what is in your power to control. You can have wise, loving, and active responses when it comes to navigating through cultural issues.