Some would describe me as a wife and mother. A grandmother.
A friend. An administrative Secretary. A church member.
I see myself as a Titus 2 woman. A mature and compassionate warrior of the faith.
And in that, I’m convinced I’m confused as most believers are.
We may recognize we’re new creatures in Christ and be working to put off our old ways and put on the redeemed attitudes and actions that reflect God’s righteousness and holiness. 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 4:23-24
We may even grasp on an intimate level that through Christ we’ve been redeemed and granted eternal life. John 3:16, Romans 6:23
And yet, we continue to indulge the flesh, to give place to such things as pettiness or gossip, to spend our energy and focus on worldly pursuits, or worse. We accommodate sin in our lives in spite of the truth we acknowledge. We behave in opposition to the identity with Christ we claim. We walk not in the freedom He bought and we ourselves declare.
And in that we suffer from a case of mistaken identity.
I came upon this concept reading The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield. She is a most intriguing character, a past professor of English who is now a pastor’s wife, mother, author, and speaker. She came to faith in 1999 when she was a lesbian activist. One might say that would make her conversion dramatic, especially against the current cultural backdrop.
There are portions of her account that are striking and fascinating, but her words on pages 24-25 move it into a universal tale.
“Dr. Maureen Vanterpool, a colleague from Geneva College, told me recently that being a lesbian was a case of mistaken identity. This became an intriguing and important paradigm for me. And even though I’m no longer a lesbian, I’m still a sinner. I’m redeemed, but still fallen. And sin is sin. I believe that the Lord is more grieved by the sins of my current life than by my past life as a lesbian. How did the Lord heal me? The way that he always heals: the word of God got to be bigger inside me than I.”
Homosexuality is not the unforgiven-able sin. It’s not even the most heinous. In fact, as Butterfield states, sin is sin. And each of us carries those things that tarnish the person God intends us to be through the freedom bought by His Son, the Sacrificial Lamb.
The sin we condone sustains an aberration of who we’re meant to be. We are walking around with, as Vanterpool describes it, a case of mistaken identity.
1) Thankfully God is at already at work reclaiming us by applying His Truth to our lives. We simply need to yield to the Potter’s hands with perseverance.
2) We can rejoice that the diagnosis is temporary. We will be healed on Christ’s return.
“Dear Friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
May the LORD transform us into the likeness of His Son according to His gracious will.
In His hands for His Ephesians 2:10 purpose,