Throughout the course of my life, I have been devalued by many people, including my own parents, and to this day I continue to devalue not only myself, but others as well. I have come to realize that I am in no place to devalue myself, let alone others, for we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.
It is clear that discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation has all but become common place in our nation today. However, the fact remains that God is a God of inclusivity and not exclusivity, and that He will reward those who diligently seek Him.
Just because a person may not fit into the mold of what we or society may believe as “normal,” it does not give us a poetic license to devalue that person. Likewise, if our opinions differ from that of another person, we should not devalue that person and make them feel as though they are inferior or that their opinions are inconsequential.
It amazes me that some people who profess that they are followers of Jesus Christ, are some of the worse offenders of devaluing people. For example, let us examine the account of the woman who was found guilty of adultery as recorded in John 8:3-7:
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
The account goes on to tell us that after the Master had given His response, those who would otherwise be this woman’s accusers, drop their stones and went their way realizing that because of the conviction in their own sinful hearts, they were in no place to devalue another. With no one but Himself and the woman remaining, He turns to her and asks, “Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?” (John 8:10). In modern-day vernacular, the question might be asked, “Where are those who have attempted to devalue you? Where have they gone?”
We must spend our lives edifying people instead of being quick to devalue them. Every person is a child of God. Thus, they deserve to be treated with self-worth, respect, and human dignity. We should be more inclusive and less exclusive in our thinking and treatment of others. We should heed the words spoken by the Master. Said He, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1-2). If we are not careful, we may just find that our exclusivity might exclude ourselves from the Kingdom of God.
Karlyn Kay Stebbins
10 April 2015
Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:
I have a double major in sociology and psychology and a minor in communications. I was before a licensed addictions counselor in a treatment center up until recently. Due to a drastic series of some life-changing events, I now live in Hawaii and I am going back to school for my master degree in sociology.
I am a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter day Saints and have been a member since 26 March 2011.
My interests are furthering my education and spending time with my partner and her friends and eventually becoming active in the LGBT Community here in Hawaii, and doing some addictions counseling work within that Community. I love to read, write, and hang out at the beach.