my response to “We All Have Sexual Baggage”

Yesterday, Relevant Magazine contributor Natalie Floyd shared an article called “We All Have Sexual Baggage.” The article addresses an idea that many young Christians have grown up being taught: that having pre-marital sex leaves you as a permanently damaged commodity less worthy and capable of a happy marriage. Although I do agree that pre-marital sex is detrimental to our relationship with Christ and our livelihood, I don’t believe that that abstaining or engaging will either leave us as either perfectly pure and whole OR destroyed and desolate. Sex is bad for us if done at the wrong time, but so are so many other things. Many sins that we commit are as simple as doing the right thing at the wrong time.

In the article, Floyd said many great things, but one in particular that I believe is so important. She states, “The truth is, we’ve all got something in our hearts that probably needs to be addressed. We all have an issue, a hang up or an expectation that could stifle our personal growth or prevent us from entering into a relationship like marriage as a healthy and whole person.” I love this quote because she is correct. She goes on to share that there are many physical virgins who haven’t had intercourse but who have other sexual issues that can be real problems in marriage. Some people may not have as many sexual issues but possess many other issues that can prevent us from enjoying and growing in marriage the way that God desires. I believe that there must be more attention on these issues so that future heartache is avoided. After all, I’m sure that Christian marriages fall apart over more than sexual baggage. There are personality conflicts, money issues, a lack of respect or love shown, infidelity and so many more issues that should be addressed on the heart level. 

More than anything, I am thankful that Floyd’s article shared the fact that there is grace for times when we fall. There are so many people who live in the prison of their own guilt. They hold on to their sins, refusing to hand them over to a sovereign who paid the price for them over 2000 years ago. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  The world and long-time Christians alike need to understand that there is love, grace, forgiveness and hope for those who feel burdened down by their own life’s baggage. Jesus is the one who lightens our load, removes our burdens and sets us on the path to “go and sin no more.” So if you find yourself in that place, please remember that you are never too broken or too damaged simply because God restores. He is well qualified in redemption, restoration and doing a new thing. 🙂 

If you get a moment, please check out Floyd’s article and share your thoughts on it in the Comments section below.

Religion is the…

Religion is the opposite of the Gospel. Religion is ‘I give God a good life then God rewards me,’ right? The Gospel is ‘God through Jesus Christ gives me a perfect record.’ Jesus comes to live a life I should have lived and die a death I should have died. And then we are accepted right now and we live for Him.

Religion is outside in — ‘If I live a good life, God will come in and bless me.’ The Gospel is inside out. In the Gospel, I receive the acceptance I have because of what Jesus Christ has done and that brings an inner sweetness into my life and that flows out of my life into a life of mercy and justice.

Religion creates people who look down at others. The Gospel, nothing but love and respect with for those with whom we deeply differ.

Religion creates people who only say their prayers and there’s no love and intimacy in their prayer life. The Gospel creates an intimacy in your prayer life. There’s as much adoration and love as there is petition.

Religion creates people who don’t believe that they could do these bad things so you have trouble forgiving. The Gospel creates people who are very forgiving.

Convicting, powerful quote by Tim Keller’s sermon, The Sin Against The Holy Spirit. I highly suggest listening to the sermon. He starts talking about this topic of “religion vs. the gospel” around 1:03:20.