The Chick-fil-a debate…

I thought I would not weigh in at all, but here I am on the day of support for a Christian owned business that continues to take a verbal beating by many and my heart feels a little nudge to lay out my thoughts on the matter. I’m not gay, but I am divorced and remarried. I’ve sinned, big time, failed miserably, and learned a great deal about humility and God’s grace in the process. When I read Mr. Cathy’s comments, my eyes quickly fell on his comment about he and the men in his family being married to their first wives. I surely felt no hostility or any condemnation by his comment. I simply respected that he clarified their beliefs and commitments without limiting his explanation. Though some may have, I haven’t seen or heard of any backlash from that particular piece of his comment. I pondered it, though not surprised by it, and found myself once again revisiting my own sin.

I believe the scripture that tells us that “God hates divorce.” I had read that prior to going through a divorce myself and gave it little thought. In the midst of my own divorce, those particular words of scripture came back to my mind and heart revealing the truth of the matter. Yes indeed, God hates divorce. He hates the division, the discord, mostly he hates that it is rooted in failure to do what He requires of us…to love Him above all else, and to love others as ourselves. Divorce is always, always, on at least one and I would guess usually both parties a result of loving self above both God and spouse. It is the breaking of a covenant, something I had absolutely no understanding of at the time but have since learned and as a result endured another season of sorrow and regret. I could stop here, but I would be failing to get to the heart of the matter which is the heart of God.

God has good plans for our lives. He loves us beyond anything we can comprehend with our finite minds. His Word conveys His ways and His truth and admonishes us as to how we are to live to remain at the center of His will and under the sheltering of His protective wing. Make no mistake, that is where He wills for us to be, always…

After divorcing and remarrying, all by my 25th year, the dust finally settled and I was left to figure out what it all meant for the remainder of my life. I truly questioned if I had fallen outside of God’s redemption when I stepped outside of His will. The aching loneliness and overwhelming fear was at times crippling. I spent many sad Sunday afternoons outside, digging in the dirt around my flowers, and asking God to restore to me the joy of His salvation. I begged and pleaded in bitter tears of repentance, seeking, always seeking to know where I stood with Him.

In His time, He lovingly forgave and restored what had been lost. He alone can do that, and He wills to have fellowship with those who long for Him. His grace was revealed to me in a way that surpassed anything I had ever known. I found great comfort and clarity in His Word which never relieved me of my guilt. Instead, it illuminated His grace, His will and ability to forgive, to cleanse of all unrighteousness, to wash even the vilest of sinner and to make me clean, white as snow. Oh my goodness…what that did to my heart I cannot adequately describe in words. It humbled me on my knees at Jesus’ feet and gave me a desire to see others find His great and abiding love, to recognize that what He has for us is better than what we could ever think to ask on our own. He can make a way when we don’t see that a way can be made. Truly, with God, all things are possible. I learned that on my journey through repentance. I want that for every person, that they “may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that [all] might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Because I know that God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” (from Ephesians 3:18-20)

I can honestly say I don’t feel better than or above anyone. I learned, like David after he sinned and his sin was revealed to him by the Lord’s prophet, that all sin is sin against the Lord; that God alone could forgive, cleanse, heal, restore, and bless. It wasn’t until David was broken by the revelation of his sin that he was able to repent and find forgiveness and favor again with his God. So too, this is the case with each one of us.

Regardless of what our particular sin is, we cannot be delivered from it or forgiven until it is revealed to us and we are broken in humility at the realization of our ruined condition. We then are able to see our need for grace and how desperately undeserving we are. Look with me here at Psalm 51:7-13 and see what David asked for: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou has broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”

I don’t hear David making any excuses. I hear confession and a plea for mercy. Read the entire psalm and you will find David asking God for mercy based on the character of God, “according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” David didn’t blame his guilt or sin on others. He named himself the sinner and the offended as God, and based upon David’s understanding of the love of God he cried out for mercy. Here is the example for us all…

There are many sins and all lead to destruction or death. Satan, from the very beginning in the garden of Eden, has tried to deceive us into believing otherwise, but the proof is evident for all who are willing to see. The demise of families, lives, hearts, minds, entire societies reveal the truth of God’s Word.

In great love for all who suffer, I pray for revelation of truth and humble repentance. It is not one group of individuals that need God’s merciful forgiveness. It is all of us. We are all going to be held to account of our handling of and response to truth. Repentance is a merciful gift that I pray we all will daily seek and that we will live our lives to teach transgressors God’s ways so that sinners, all of us sinners, will be converted to the Lord.

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