Monday, March 19, 2007


There are a lot of negative attitudes that can be stumbling blocks on the walk of faith, but I've always thought that envy stood out in its own special way from a lot of them. Perhaps that's just because it's a sinful attitude that I myself deal with regularly. But I also think the nature of envy is somewhat unique, in that when you really get to thinking about it, it's really, really stupid.

I don't think it's odd for anyone to struggle with envy, especially if they're someone who's ever dealt with same-sex attraction. No matter what your beliefs, it's pretty natural to be jealous of those "normal" straight people. "Oh, how easy it must be for them!" right? No societal rejection, no words such as "abomination" attached to something they really, really want to do: an "easy ride." I've felt those feelings, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

But for me, envy has often taken on several other dimensions. It has gone beyond being jealous of heterosexuals. That's really a starter, to be honest. If there's anything I'm envious of, it's people who I perceive to be "whole," and by whole I mean consistent. I find myself coveting the lives of people who, unlike me, don't seem to be stuck in the middle of the road, who aren't an amalgamation of several other beliefs and identities.

I am jealous of out-and-proud gay people because, though you can say what you want about them, you have to admit that they have guts, and it's nice to see someone comfortable with who they are (or perceive themselves to be). I'm also jealous of hardcore evangelical Christians who "fit in" with evangelical culture, who readily believe all the stuff from Answers in Genesis, who like Christian rock, who go to Christian colleges and get married, have babies, and vote Republican. I'm envious of both left-wing and right-wing radicals, because holding on to your beliefs no matter what takes courage (or at least a certain stubbornness that I can definitely identify with). I'm jealous of ex-gays who identify with everything Exodus speaks about, and I'm also jealous of ex-ex-gays who are still Christian despite their sexuality. I'm jealous of hardcore five-point Calvinists, and I'm also jealous of staunch Arminians.

Are we getting the picture here? I basically have this hang-up about being anyone other than myself. I want to be someone who believes what they believe 100%, yet the only belief I have like that is my belief in Christ. In everything else, I'm like a mosaic made of broken bits of glass. I'm half-gay, half-not gay, somewhat conservative, somewhat liberal, ex-gay critic, ex-ex-gay critic, half-Calvinist, half-Arminian, totally Christian, totally not into Christian culture, etc. etc.

I know that doesn't sound like the best description in the world. It sounds like I'm indecisive, but I really just don't identify with anything 100%. Here's the reason why I'm starting to become okay with that. Pretty much everything I've been jealous of, I have come to find, doesn't really exist.

Oh, of course it exists, but it doesn't exist as I've perceived it. No one, I've found, is entirely consistent in their thinking. Everyone takes the middle road sometimes about one issue or another, and everyone has personal experiences that take them out of their comfort zone a bit. That's why I think it's very stupid of me to want to be someone else. Just like no one really knows all my opinions, thought processes, or experiences, I don't know anyone else's. All I see is what's on the outside. I see glimpses, of course, in what the person says or does or wears, but just like those things don't define me, they also don't define other people. Sure, they make things easier. They make the world ordered and neat and simple, but the problem with that is that the world isn't ordered, neat, or simple. It's chaotic, an amalgamation, and people are like that too. We're all broken in one way or another, and we're darn lucky, I think, to have a God out there that loves us in our brokenness, that takes us no matter how weird we are (or perceive ourselves to be). Peace out, y'all.

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