He sits at Tribal Council on the internationally televised game show, Survivor. In the heat of the discussion, one of the people he has taken into his confidence suddenly turns to him and asks, “Why haven’t you mentioned you’re transgender?” in an attempt to prove that the man is deceitful. The smile that has been a constant throughout the game, evaporates. The once sparkling eyes hold their position but now are flat and distant. The other tribal members erupt in anger toward the person who dared to violate such a trust. He is immediately apologetic, but you can’t unscramble an egg. He crossed the line. He knows it. And everyone else knows it. If he wasn’t going home before, he is now. They don’t even vote on it. He grabs his torch, his light is extinguished, and he’s off the show.
In the midst of the chaos, the transgendered man gains his composure, offers forgiveness to the perpetrator and gives a response to the situation that indicates he is willing to offer his hurt and embarrassment as a sacrifice to those for whom these moments he has endured may be helpful in their own life’s journey. He is applauded for his response. The final episode of the show hails the moment as a highlight of that season. Here’s the irony. The woman who identified as a man so became a man through physical manipulation, is gay. The “she” who is now a “he” is attracted to men. And he is applauded for his courage, strength, and exemplary character.
I felt the anger in the betrayal as well. I too, wanted the man who broke trust, punished for his violation of privacy. I wanted him voted out. I too, applaud the transgender man’s courage, strength, and character. And I submit to you that he acted more like Jesus in that moment than his tribe had acted during the whole season.
Survivor is a reality show of physical and mental stamina, but it is also a show where lying, secrecy and scheming win the day, where participants sell out their fellow tribe members for a mere chance at winning a million dollars.
While the world tries to normalize sinful lifestyles, let’s remember that we who claim to be Christian put feet to normalizing sin years ago when we started turning a blind eye to lying, scheming, sexual immorality, and a myriad of other sins which are a whole lot more than just a game.
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12).
Father, thank you for your perfect love. Please forgive my apathy toward sin. Help me to love others as you have loved me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.