When we are in sin, we are dead to the Truth of God.  It takes the illuminating Light of Truth from the Holy Spirit to make us realize our ignorance.  No amount of brilliant rhetoric, eloquence, rapier wit, or verbal dexterity from anyone will cut through the ignorance or willfulness of a heart given over to sin.  That is why the work of witnessing is purely a spiritual work.  You cannot do it in your own power.  You will fail if you try.  Trust me.  Only words that are given to you by the Holy Spirit and empowered by that Same Spirit will have any efficacy.  As I did not feel any leading by the Holy Spirit for words to share with these young gay men, I could only pray and maintain a smile on my face.  It would have been easy to scowl, especially given their rude behavior.  There was apparently a problem with the credit card of one of the young men as they had tried to purchase several hundred dollars’ worth of merchandise, but their card was rejected outright.  Most people would have recognized that this was a somewhat complex problem, requiring a phone call to the credit card company which might take anywhere from a few minutes to upwards of an hour. 

Recognizing the time required to solve this problem, most people would have politely stepped out of everyone else’s way while they solved the problem to avoid inconveniencing everyone else by their own mistake or misfortune.  To reiterate, most people would have acted very differently.  But these two, instead, rudely decided to inconvenience everyone without any apology or explanation, calling the credit card company on the spot to iron out their problem in front of everyone before they moved one more inch.  Now, I did not judge them for having this problem.  I have had the same problem happen to me as our overzealous credit card company slammed the brakes on our card a few times when they didn’t like the pattern of our purchases, thinking that there was a fraudulent and unauthorized use of our card. I was a little annoyed when the credit card hold happened to me, but I did not get angry or short with the people at the credit card company because I was simply grateful when I realized how closely they were monitoring their customer’s purchases, looking for unusual patterns that might indicate fraudulent use of a stolen card or simply the fraudulent use of someone’s number. 

So, as I stood in line watching this scene unfold, I had no judgment or resentment in my heart for these two young men who themselves had no concern for anyone else.  I did not automatically think that God was punishing them because they were gay or that they deserved what they got because they were in blatant sin.  I will state, however, for the record, that, if we are in sin, God often continues to allow blessings into our lives as He tries to get through to our heart with His Compassion in order to bring us to repentance or as He answers the prayers of those that pray on our behalf, but in such cases, He is blessing us out of His Incredible Kindness in His Indulgent Will.  We have no expectation of anything from God when we are living in willful sin.  This is purely the gravy of God’s Generosity that we continue to experience His Blessings even when we are in sin or it is the overflow of His Blessings on those around us that ARE walking in His Will. 

Getting back to the story of these two young gay men, their phone haggling went on for about five minutes as the cashier was trying to be patient.  Finally, when there were no signs that these two were making any headway, she got the attention of the supervising cashier or manager who came over and zeroed out the transaction of these two and started ringing up my items.  All this time, these two did not look up, did not move one inch, and did not acknowledge anyone else.  It was like they had shut out everyone from their awareness and were operating in an arrogant me-centric universe.  But despite their rude behavior, I did not even once scowl or glare in anger at the two nor did I even allow myself to feel the slightest impatience as they stood dead square in everyone’s way.  At one point, they even began haggling one-by-one over what items they would subtract from their purchase (apparently they had been told by the credit card company that they were too close to their limit and that the transaction would not be approved unless it came in under a certain amount). 

At no point did these two make any eye contact with me, the cashier, or anyone else, nor did they even attempt to make apologies for inconveniencing anyone around them.  It was, without a doubt, one of the rudest displays of behavior that I have ever seen by anyone, gay or straight.  It was clear to me and everyone else that they just did not give a flip about anyone else but themselves and that no one merited their courtesy.  The cashier finished ringing up and bagging my purchases, and I even had to back up the lane and go out another way since these men and their cart completely blocked the exit to the lane.  Again, I did not judge them, nor did I give them any sign that I was annoyed.  I only maintained an amused, pleasant smile the entire time.   I did not want Satan to use any sinful response on my part to damage God’s work in reaching out to the hearts of these two men, nor did I want Satan to use my impatience as a tool to empower them to lash out at others, claiming that they were being judged or treated wrongly simply because they were gay. 


More on this tomorrow.  I pray that you will experience God's Boundless, Limitless Love today in a personal way. 
 


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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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