Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is openly “gay.” And he insists that God made him that way. He says that if someone has a problem with his homosexuality, they need to “take it up with my Creator.”
The “God made me this way” claim is a common excuse, and Buttigieg’s use of it is certainly not original. But Buttigieg has said something else that I find far more interesting.
He has said that, when he was young:
“if you had offered me a pill to make me straight, I would have swallowed it before I could get a sip of water.”
Trending: Normalizing Sin Has Consequences
That’s a far more revealing statement than Buttigieg – or most other people, for that matter – would realize.
For one thing, it raises this question: If Buttigieg is so sure that his “gayness” is perfectly OK, and it’s just “the way God made him,” then why would he have been so eager in the past to find an easy way out of it?
Maybe he was mainly concerned about disapproval from his family. Or maybe he was afraid of societal disapproval (assuming that might still have been an issue at the time). But, contrary to what he might claim now, it’s a good bet that he truly knew, instinctively, that homosexuality was wrong. Eventually, though, knowing that there was no magic pill to make him “straight,” he did what he felt he had to do – and what current society leads people like him to believe is their only option: to try to be as much at peace with his abnormal sexuality as he could be, and to treat it as being “normal.”
But there’s an even more significant point to Buttigieg’s statement. He’s basically saying that, because he couldn’t change easily, he concluded that he couldn’t change at all.
In this age where so many things come easily, even instantly, it can be very hard for people to grasp that some things will only come with time, patience, discipline and assistance. And in a world where many people treat God as some vague concept with no real substance or power, too many don’t know how to deal with things that can only be handled with divine help – things like life-dominating sin issues, especially sexual ones.
Even many people who truly acknowledge their Creator nonetheless find themselves stuck in deeply-rooted, life-dominating sexual sin. I have been such a person myself. And every such person, at some point, prays something like this: “God, please change me.”
The problem is that, when someone prays such a prayer, they often really mean this (without necessarily realizing it):
“God, change my desires quickly. Make it easy for me to stop doing this.”
But God isn’t particularly concerned with what’s easy, comfortable or convenient for us. He’s concerned about the strength of our character. And he’s concerned with how serious we are about doing what’s right, against any and all opposition – even (or especially) when that opposition comes from within ourselves.
When a person faces such a formidable issue as an unhealthy attraction or an addiction, he is not meant to make peace with it. Rather, he is meant to engage in battle against it, never giving up, faithfully doing his own part and letting his Creator do the rest. And he is meant to experience ultimate victory over it.
Contrary to what many seem to expect, real change generally does not happen quickly. Temptations and tendencies don’t go away overnight, but approach the vanishing point over time. Both outward behavior and inward character are modified incrementally. And often, the more hard-won the victory is over a life-dominating issue, the more solid and sound it is.
Countless people, including myself, have lived out what I’m describing. Destructive issues of all kinds have been overcome for good that had controlled the lives of individuals for decades.
But for every person who has experienced this, there are more who have given up and given in – sometimes after seemingly long and hard battles. They have surrendered to the very things that they were meant to conquer with God’s help. They have even let these things become the very basis of their identities.
Many people state that they “tried to change” but couldn’t, as if their personal surrender somehow proves that victory is impossible for anyone. But all it proves is that they let something stand in the way of their own potential victory. They may not have expected there to be some kind of “magic pill” that would change them; but, in some way, they were ultimately unwilling to persist in battling the opposition that came from within themselves. And, in the end, their attraction or addiction ended up being more important to them than God was – if they had ever considered him to be important to begin with.
If someone had told the young Pete Buttigieg that he could be “straight,” but that it would take time, patience, diligence and total submission to his Creator, would he have been so eager to pursue that “straightness”? Or would he have still only wanted to change if it was as easy as taking a pill?
Sorry, Pete, but nothing worthwhile was ever accomplished by someone who expected it to become easy. If you have a problem with that, take it up with your Creator.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.