Summary: This lie promotes the idea that we are destined to be who we are. You feel trapped in whatever sin you may be engaged in and you believe you'll never change. But God says, "No, that's not true. You may feel you were born that way, but God says you must be 'born again.'"
OPEN: A young boy was being punished, and one of the punishments wasthat he was forbidden to go swimming. One day he came home with his hair wet and his mother demanded an explanation. “I fell in the lake,” he said. “Really? (she said). Then why AREN’T your clothes wet?” He grinned and said: “Well… I had a feeling I was going to fall in. So I took them off.”
I’m pretty sure he did more than just fall in. In fact, I think he planned to fall in, and as long as he was going to fall in anyway - he figured he may as well enjoy it.
His explanation though… was interesting. “I had a feeling I was going to fall in.” (Translation: I couldn’t help myself). We live in a world where that type of rationale is used all the time: I can’t help myself. I just know I’m going to fall in! And that’s just the way it is.
The sermon series we’re preaching this month is focused on “Lies People Believe” and the lie we’re looking at today is “I Am What I Am.” Other ways of saying that like “Popeye’s phrase: “I Yam What I Yam An' Dats All I Yam” OR - I was born this way OR - God created me this way.
I CAN’T HELP MYSELF. I AM WHAT I AM!!!
The phrase simply means – I have no choice - that’s just the way it is. I can’t help being who I am, and I can’t help doing what I do! I’m going to fall in anyway… so I may as well accept it.
ILLUS: Marilyn Manson was a musician and artist who was famous in the 1990s. The magazine “Rolling Stone” did an article on him that they titled: “Marilyn Manson: The Monster Hiding in Plain Sight” In other words: basically, he wasn’t a nice guy.
In an interview with “Beliefnet.com” he said, “Initially I was drawn into the darker side of life. But it’s really just human nature. I started to learn that everything that’s considered a sin is what makes you a human being. All the seven deadly sins are man’s true nature. To be greedy. To be hateful. To have lust.”
What he was saying was this: Sin is what makes you human. It’s unavoidable.
I AM WHAT I AM!
Now, we’ve seen a lot of this kind of thinking coming out of the LGBTQ+ crowd. For years, a number of studies have tried to find a “Gay Gene.” The thinking was – homosexuals can’t help themselves therefore there MUST be something in their DNA that makes them desire to be what they are. They’re trapped in their lifestyle.
The only problem is… they have yet to find ANY GENE that forces gays to be gay.
ILLUS: According to an article in the magazine Popular Science “Genetics can't predict whether a person will engage in same-sex sexual behavior, according to new research published in the journal Science. The study, which tested nearly half a million people, found that while there may be some genes that contribute to sexual behavior, they each only play a tiny role—social and environmental factors make up the rest. (https://www.popsci.com/genes-cannot-predict-same-sex-sexual-behavior/?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email)
In essence – there’s no Gay Gene that hardwires homosexuals to be gay.
But that doesn’t stop folks from the LGBTQ crowd from continually protesting: “I can’t help myself”, “I can’t change who I am.” “It’s not my fault!!!!”
ILLUS: And they’re not alone. It seems that everybody who engages in behavior God calls sinful tends to say exactly the same thing. A woman caught in adultery will say “I couldn’t help myself. We just fell in love. We were destined to be together.” The man discovered with child pornography on his computer will say “I couldn’t help myself. That’s just the way I’m wired.” And the homosexual will say “I can’t help myself, I was just born that way.”
People who struggle with sin often repeat the same mantra over & over again: It’s just who I am. I am what I am and I can’t change. Or they’ll say “I am what God made me, and I’ll never be anything else.”
But God says that’s not true. God anticipated people saying they were born “that way” centuries ago. To people who engaged in sin who said “I was born that way” Jesus said “You must be born again.”
Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth and said this: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 6:9-11