Topic: Need practical advice and guidance...

Please bear with me, as I know this may be a long post...

I am a 25 year old guy who has been in church for the last 7 years.  Since I can remember, I have struggled with homosexuality but have never acted on the any of the thoughts because of the simple fact that it is not biblical.  Even before I was in church, I knew it was not what God wanted.

Over the last 7 years, I have prayed over this issue and God has given me a lot of revelation in my own life about it.  I am currently in a place where I truly have no desire for homosexual activity, which is a huge deal for me and isn't what I'm needing advice on.  Anyway, in my research and reading over this, I have come to understand that the root causes of these "feelings" are rooted in feelings of inferiority and a low self-worth, specifically toward other guys my age.  Although I have proven to myself that I can do manly things and have learned how to talk to other guys in the last few years, I still have this self image that I am inferior to them.

For example.  I have been involved in a church here for close to three years now.  I have been a huge and integral part of the building of the church from the ground up.  About a year ago, I was given the position of youth director for the church, but the program was put on hold because the pastor didn't feel it was time for the youth to start up.  About a month after this decision, I went through some personal stuff that basically required me to step down from everything, but I was told that I would be restored to my positions.  During this time, my current roommate moved to Texas and moved in with me.  Over the 9 months he has been here, he has built relationships and grown a lot.  About 2 months ago, our pastor just out of the blue decided that he was going to start the program up again and gave the youth position to my roommate.  What's worse is that the assistant director position was given to a girl who was here only 1 month longer than him.  While I feel that most people would be able to let this go, I feel like it is rocking my world.  Not only am I trying to stave off harboring a victim mentality (which is very common among people who have struggled with homosexuality), but it's like the thoughts I keep having are "Why was I not good enough" or "how is my room mate better than me?"  I've started struggling with thoughts that would tell me that I'm not called to ministry or that this mentor in my life just doesn't want me because of conflicts we have had in the past.  I have even felt estranged because of the decision.

Over the last 2 months, I have basically come to the conclusion that God didn't let me have the position because I would have put my identity in it, and that's not what he wants.  I have felt that my self worth has either been rooted in my friendships, others' opinions of me, what I am doing, or what position I am holding.  I feel like if I were to ask anyone, they would tell me to put my identity in God or let him tell me what my worth is, but it feels like such a broad statement that doesn't really give me any direction.  I feel like if I could just get a breakthrough in this one area of my life, then I will finally be in a place where I would be ready to have the influence and freedom I want to have.

I want prayer from anyone who will offer it, but I really want advice, as well.  I am tired of feeling as though I need something to prove my worth to myself.  I want to be comfortable with myself whether I am in a position surrounded by friends or sitting to the side alone and I don't feel that I have that.  I'm just not sure how to build it.  Any help?

Re: Need practical advice and guidance...

Hey man, I can't say that I have enough life experience to feel comfortable giving you any advice, but like to think that my self worth matters to God first, and not to allow other people's judgments (either their real judgments, or what I feel they think about me) direct how I think or feel. As long as I am living my life for God, and am confident that I am doing so, then God will take care of my needs. Doubt that helps much, but it's all I have to offer besides prayer, which I will also do.

Re: Need practical advice and guidance...

Hi MrMasks99, what you have described is a very deep life struggle and what happened with your roommate receiving the position you thought was yours would be difficult for anyone to bear. I must say that I'm very proud that you have essentially overcome your homosexual desires with the help of God and have been actively involved in a local church. That in and of itself is a real accomplishment. Being able to recognize your weaknesses (we all have too many to count) is a great first step as is wanting to avoid the victim mentality.

You have no reason to prove your worth to yourself. However, I think you already recognize this but recognition does not necessarily mean that your feelings match what you think. I agree with what bccarlso said about living for God. If you continue to follow His will then you should have peace though struggles will always persist. Following Jesus is not the easy way of life.

I will pray for you and don't know what kind of advice to offer other than to let you know that God loves you was willing to send His Son to die on the cross for your sins. That fact really exemplifies how much worth you have in God's eyes.  Recognizing this should help you feel more confident in yourself.

Hope my thoughts were clear and that this helps. My prayers are with you.

He will return...

Re: Need practical advice and guidance...

thank you guys for your words.  It has been really difficult, and on top of everything else I'm having such a hard time fighting off resentment.  I think most of my days are spent between self-pity and anger with short little windows where I am at peace.

Re: Need practical advice and guidance...

Though I'm not an expert either, I think Church is typically like that. If we do things correctly, and we trust God about what we should do, we get into situations where we believe so strongly that we are where God wants us to be... And those feelings are probably correct. I burned out in Church planting a few years back, I was giving it my all and that didn't seem like enough. I was also having leadership conflicts with someone who was clearly more socially charismatic than I. (My position was given away right in front of me in that subtle "Oh, you should fill in here sometime") That left a lasting scar, and even evolved into a subtle cynicism toward the church in general that I have to fight regularly.

However I realize now, after five or so years, that it was the beginning of God's prompting me to do something different. That situation actually even made me think about how I should be doing ministry in a way that I never would have before. Personally I like to think that it's for the better, and that God has been using that to bring me somewhere exactly fitted for me. I'm not there yet, and I have some more healing to do, but that's what I have taken away from a completely crushing situation. And while my story is different from yours, it may just be that the best thing I can offer is that it may not make sense, even for five or ten years, but someday it will. And also that someday you'll look back and realize that God's stamp was all over it, and that He still uses things that are traumatic for our and His good.

Those are some of my thoughts on the matter, hopefully they are of some help to you.

Re: Need practical advice and guidance...

MrMasks99 wrote:

It has been really difficult, and on top of everything else I'm having such a hard time fighting off resentment.  I think most of my days are spent between self-pity and anger with short little windows where I am at peace.

When you experience the peace, what's going on at the moment?  Know that the peace you feel is most likely a gift of the Spirit.

Being "church bit" is a difficult place to be.  For all that churches strive to be the body of Christ, they are made up of men and women who all fall short of the example of Christ, especially where it involves really seeing individuals.  It's all too easy for leadership to focus on the desired end result and forget those that have a part to play in making that happen.  This is especially prone to happening in churches that apply secular approaches to ministry - it doesn't always work as advertised.  My wife and I got munched pretty bad a couple of years ago and found ourselves unable to worship in that church and eventually moved on rather than move away from God.

My advise to you is likely to be difficult - approach the pastor, share your hurt feelings, and ask for help in understanding why things happened as they did.  In doing this, avoid using the word "you" as you talk about what you're feeling.  I say this because use of "you" will make it all about what the pastor has done rather than the feelings you are suffering.  Pastors are usually all about helping someone sort through their feelings from a Biblical perspective, but will often shut down somewhat when they feel accused.  At any rate, your pastor's response will certify for you if they are seeing you as a person or not.  Once you know the answer to that, even if it's painful, you can then make a better decision on your next course of action.

Of course, bathe the process in prayer, especially just before approaching your pastor.  In addition, if the pastor doesn't open the meeting with prayer, request it yourself.

That's my 2 cents :^{>

Honored to Serve for Him - Tom ('Mas) Pickering <)><

Re: Need practical advice and guidance...

I know this is bumping an older topic but i just feel impressed to share with you an awesome resource, it centers on our identity in Christ (which sounds to be a key issue in your situation) and shows exactly where we should find our value from...

Listen to, or read identity wars online... http://maranathamedia.com/start/index.p … p;Itemid=1

God Bless.

|G|

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that i am God."  i also have things to say over here http://glitch7.wordpress.com/

Re: Need practical advice and guidance...

I had tears in my heart when reading your story.  I have a friend whose brilliant son was struggling with homosexual feelings.  So, I don't think the cause to homosexuality is due to low self worth.  Rather, I think it's the lack of a strong father image in the household.  Boys look for a hero they can look up upon and girls look for a hero they can adore.

Why you're in my prayer, I also wish to tell you that you don't have to prove how worthy you're because in God's eyes and in eyes of people who love you, you're valuable.  Sometimes, God has a plan for you and may use your painful experience to help others.  I've read John Robinson's Nobody's Child and Somebody's Child, which you may find similar encounters like you.  John described how God used him after all those years of pains and suffering.

God Bless.  Hope to see your updates here.

Monica ++ Life is purposeless without God.