My heart hurt when I saw Bruce Jenner’s distress in his interview with Diane Sawyer (April 24, 2015) and heard of his family’s grief. I grieved for the viewers who listened in the hope of having their confusing thoughts and desires explained.
Jenner believes his pain comes from the pressure he feels to live a lie. I believe it comes from believing a lie.
Jenner’s unsteady emotions stood in stark contrast to his set mind. Despite the fact he won the Olympian male decathlon, has a normal opposite-sex attraction to females, and has never been sexually attracted to men, he’s convinced God gave him a woman’s soul. Doesn’t the desire to marry and love a woman reveal a male soul? Jenner says no; sex and gender are two different things. That belief rules him.
At age ten Jenner donned a dress for the first time. The urge to cross dress grew over time. This conflict cost him marriages with women he loved. He’s hoping more drastic measures will finally bring him the peace that’s eluded him.
I wish I could tell Jenner, and anyone else badgered by alarming desires, that deceitful desires come because we are broken creatures in a fallen world. The enemy that slithered into Eden and polluted paradise wants to destroy us too. But we don’t have to follow this seduction.
Who Was I Created to Be?
You and I are created in the image of God! God gave humankind the capacity to enjoy a relationship with Him (Genesis 1:26-28). The marriage union of a man and woman reflect Christ’s relationship with His church. Ephesians 5:31-32 calls this a great mystery.
Walking with God is the only way to experience the joy of a perfect love and find personal fulfillment. This relationship gives us the capacity to selflessly love others. God’s love washes away our insecurities and fills our emptiness. We become vessels that reflect His glory.
But there is a problem. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, NASB). There is no distinction between religious and non-religious people. We’ve all missed the mark.
Sin cut a gulf wider than the state of Texas between God and humankind. Instead of loving and enjoying God, humankind began to wander in a state of empty confusion (Romans 1:21).
At great personal cost, God sent Jesus to restore our relationship with Him. When we acknowledge our sin and accept the gift of salvation found in Jesus, God restores our relationship with Him and begins transforming us. He gives us the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). The change is so dramatic and permanent that the Bible uses words like death to describe what happens to our old self (Romans 6:6-7, Galatians 2:20) and birth to describe our new life (John 3:3).
But as wonderful as this is, the battle is not over.
We’re in a Battle
The serpent of old, who deceived Eve, still plants doubts in our minds prompting us to question God’s goodness and will. He seeks to steal our identity, kill our loving relationships, and destroy us. His destructive thoughts are deadly poison. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, NASB).
- Don’t Battle Alone
Will power may win a scrimmage, but it won’t win this war. Jesus is the only one who can deliver us from the power and penalty of sin.The first step to freedom is to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior (Acts 16:31). Next, develop your friendship with Him. Through the power of the Holy Spirit learn to surrender to His good and perfect will moment by moment.
Spiritual warfare is a normal part of life. You aren’t the only one in this battle. We must resist the lies our enemy uses to capture us to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). We do this by renewing our minds: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2, NASB) and considering ourselves “dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11, NASB).Temptation promises relief, but the pleasure is short-lived. Giving in makes sin harder to resist and cruel sin gains more control (John 8:34, Romans 6:16). Believing the truth sets us free.Learn to focus on loving God instead of on fighting temptation. Your endurance will grow, and you’ll enjoy the highest and best life (James 1:12).
My heart goes out to Bruce Jenner. A lie stole the pleasure of his accomplishments—earning the title of World’s Greatest Athlete, becoming a multimillionaire, a motivational speaker, a celebrity, a husband, and a father. Truth sets us free.
His rise and fall showcases the tragedy of displaced faith. But those who trust in Jesus will never be disappointed (Romans 10:11).
Want to deepen your relationship with Christ? Give Yourself a Break: Discover the Secrets to God’s Rest will refresh your faith and build your confidence in Christ. This summer, we have small groups just for women. Click here to learn more.
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Debbie W. Wilson
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Linking to W2W and #live free Thursday.
Renee Peebles says
Today just about every family I know has someone who struggles with this gender / sexual identity issue. Thank you for this post. It breaks my heart to watch society perpetuate the lie of humanity’s enemy.
Debbie Wilson says
It breaks my heart too, Renee. A like has the power to shape our destiny. The truth sets us free. May God open our eyes to Truth.
Amy Nowak says
For generations this topic has been hidden under the soil of culturally accepted norms. It now sprouts freely, and the pollen is everywhere! I agree with your comment that giving in grants control, and before we know it, a forest of sin grows unfettered in a swamp of human waste. The blossoms may look beautiful, but know what nourishes the tree.
Debbie Wilson says
Amy, thank you for your poetic picture!
Sarah @ Pretty Simple Ideas says
Thank you for this post! I pray that people who need this encouragement and truth find their way here.
Debbie Wilson says
Thank you, Sarah. God bless!