I fought myself a few times during the creation of this post. I recognize, though, that my space on the internet is my space on the internet, and that I am allowed (read: I’m allowing myself) to reach my audience how God sees fit, in the way He sees fit, through the content of which He sees fit. And for that, I will write and discuss all the truths and topics I deem appropriate. This post is not meant to offend, but to urge everyone to dig into the depths of their darkest closets, and pull from it, parts of themselves they've kept hidden and the realities that accompany them—for the sake of self-discovery.
By now, I’m sure no one reading this is a stranger to Kim Burrell’s offensive sermon, addressed toward homosexuality and the kingdom of God. It’s a story often told in the homophobic black church; one that so often—and unfortunately—pushes this very community away from the church. However, the delivery of her sermon seems to have taken away from the point of her sermon: to address the sinful spirit of homosexuality and the recognition of the sinful nature that is humanity.
Though I do not agree with her tone, nor do I ignore the influence her words have had on the LGBTQ community—one that served as a solid fan base for her music for years—I do agree with her premise. Homosexuality is a sin. Unrepentant sinners go to hell. For Christians, that's a truth that can't be ignored. As is the truth that fornication, greed, gluttony, lying, adultery and the many other things that many of us do in our everyday lives is also sin. Regardless of how we feel about any one of those, sin is sin. And the point I perceive she attempted to make (however distasteful as it was delivered), is just that. No matter how you want to sugar coat it, or how you wish to hide from it, it’ll remain—sin will always be sin. And the thoughts of our worldly counterparts can’t, do, excuse, or say anything to diminish the fact that you will be judged for the sins you’ve committed and haven’t repented from. Judged by God, not by our equally sinful human counterparts (but that's another lesson, for another time).
However, this post isn’t meant to attack the thoughts of others, discuss acts of sin, or identify where you will spend eternity—who am I to tell you that? To me, the bigger issue is the honesty we divulge within ourselves. It’s the truth we tell ourselves. When we rush to judge others, are we equally as quick to judge ourselves? Are we beating ourselves up (and down) for the transgressions we’ve committed, as hard as we beat up others? Or are we, like many, brushing our truths under the rug to be hidden, while we ridicule those around us?
Too often, Christians (we ought to be ashamed of ourselves) condemn those around us while we hide behind our own guises. As we put foggers over our own eyes to hide our insecurities, bad habits, and sins, we attack others for theirs.
I do not know Kim Burrell personally, but I do know that she’s fallen short of the glory of God plenty of times. And while she so adamantly and passionately spoke against the sin that is homosexuality, I merely hope she is able to speak as strongly against her own sins. I am equally as hopeful that we all are able to acknowledge our immorality—and truths—for what they really are.
The thing about self-discovery—whether we're talking about acknowledging and repenting for our sins, or simply digesting who we are at our core—is that it needs our honesty. It needs our transparency. We cannot discover ourselves, define ourselves, or improve ourselves if we're hiding from our truths. We also can't expect to digest our truths, if we're trying to disprove its credibility. We may not be comfortable calling ourselves out on our behavior, but that doesn't make it any less unfavorable, any less of our behavior, or any less sinful.
The thing about truth is that it will remain whether we agree with it or not. No matter how we try to mask it, it will always remain the truth. So when tackling the issues that plague our being—the ones we try desperately to escape, the ones that may be most controversial—we must be honest. We must be truthful. We must embrace all the parts of ourselves, equally, as to truly identify, shape, and become who we are [meant to be].
Embrace the heartache. The moments you fall short. Your imperfections. Embrace the parts of you that haven't yet been perfected. The-you-that-was-you-before-you became-your-current-you. Embrace it all—the good, the bad, the ugly. Whether the world agrees with it or not. Whether it’s accepted or not. Whether it hurts or not. Because the only way to adjust it is to be honest about its presence. The only way to discover yourself is to be truthful about what you find. The only way to own any of it is to be willing to admit that it's there.
So if anything, from Kim’s sermon we could learn a bit about our honesty with self. That, she was talking about the spirit of homosexuality being sinful, and though we may not agree with her tone, or her sermon, as Christians we must agree with that truth. That, she made it her duty to speak the truth—and stand by that truth—despite the dissension that brewed because of it. That, regardless of what we may feel, that is the truth: sin is sin. And that only in acknowledging the truth and owning our truth, do we become closer to ourselves and ignite the ability to improve. To become new. To welcome the possibility of becoming the women we're meant to be.
"Then you will know the truth. And the truth shall set you free." John 8:32