20 Quotes on Identity from Jackie Hill Perry

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The following quotes caught my attention as I read Jackie Hill Perry’s beautiful memoir, Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been (B&H, 2018).


[Eve] figured fruit and not faith, sin and not obedience, would give her the wisdom she needed to be more perfect than she already was. Interestingly enough, some of what she saw was true. The tree was indeed good for food and pleasant to the sight; God had made it that way (Gen. 2:9). The deception was in believing that the tree was more satisfying to the body and more pleasurable to the sight than God. (18)

Unbelief doesn’t see God as the ultimate good. So it can’t see sin as the ultimate evil. It instead sees sin as a good thing and thus God’s commands as a stumbling block to joy. In believing the Devil, I didn’t need a pentagram pendant to wear, neither did I need to memorize a hex or two. All I had to do was trust myself more than God’s Word. I had to believe that my thoughts, my affections, my rights, my wishes, were worthy of absolute obedience and that in laying prostrate before the flimsy throne I’d made for myself, that I’d be doing a good thing. (19)

Just as Eve let her body tell her what she should do with it, instead of God’s Word, which would’ve reminded her of what it was made for, I was inevitably prone to the same kind of unbelief. The one in which sin seemed better than submission. Or where women, who are beautifully and wonderfully made, just as the tree had been, would be more beautiful and more wonderful than I considered God to be. (21)

Apparently, this body was never mine to begin with—it was given to me from Somebody, for Somebody. (51)

Passing the blunt between us, I shook my head. . . . “Is God trying to get my attention by making my life harder or something?” I said. Blowing out smoke between questions, said out loud but mainly meant for God to hear and relent. “I mean, does God want me that much?” As grace would have it, He did. (64–65)

I know now what I didn’t know then. God was not calling me to be straight; he was calling me to himself. The choice to lay aside sin and take hold of holiness was not synonymous with heterosexuality. . . . In my becoming holy as he is, I would not be miraculously made into a woman that didn’t like women; I’d be made into a woman that loved God more than anything. (69)

Who gave mercy my address? Or told it how to get to my room? Didn’t it know a sinner lived in it? On the way down the hall, shouldn’t the smell of idols kept its feet from moving any closer. Then I remembered the one verse of the Bible that I knew by heart. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (75)

Is this what it feels like to be a Christian? I thought to myself. Is it to have a quiet war inside of yourself at all times? (83)

I was able to want God because the Holy Spirit was after my affections just as much as he was after my obedience. (84)

The body doesn’t have to have the final say in our lives. (89)

Standing in the backroom at work, I said to God in my mind, where no one but him could hear me speak, “God, I am really struggling. I wanna go back so bad. Lord, help me.” I stood there straightened up by a familiar interruption. Quieted and listening, my mind held in it this sentence: “Jackie, you have to believe my Word is true, even if it contradicts how you feel.” (89)

What other story was as good as that, and as relevant for us, than the news that Jesus laid down his life for a bride that didn’t want him in her own? Preston didn’t love me because he was a hopeless romantic. Our situation according to a worldly standard was hopeless. But he had another reference point to draw strength from: the gospel. He loved me because he loved God more. (132)

I don’t believe it is wise or truthful to the power of the gospel to identify oneself by the sins of one’s past or the temptations of one’s present but rather to only be defined by the Christ who’s overcome both for those he calls his own. All men and women, including myself, that are well acquainted with sexual temptation are ultimately not what our temptation says of us. We are what Christ had done for us; therefore, our ultimate identity is very simple: We are Christians. (148)

Unbelief will always contrast sin with God. Making it and not him glorious. Making it and not him worth living for. Making it and not him worth dying for. (152)

Just because we are tempted does not mean that we are our temptations. (155)

It is the identity that we ascribe to God out of doubt or faith in his Scriptures that will determine the identity we will give ourselves and ultimately the life that we inevitably live. If he is the Creator, then we are created. If he is Master, then we are servants. If he is love, then we are loved. If he is omnipotent, then we are not as powerful as we think. If he is omniscient, then there is nowhere to hide. If he cannot lie, then his promises are all true. It is faith in the truths of God’s character that has the power to completely revolutionize how our lives are lived out. (160)

Following Jesus [means] not only eternal life but also a crucified one. (168)

Being strengthened to endure and being given the power to obey doesn’t make obedience easy, but it does make it possible. (173)

The SSA Christian that is called to marriage is no more of an apologetic for the power of God than the SSA Christian that is called to singleness. In both, God is glorified. (183)

Our sexuality is not our soul, marriage is not heaven, and singleness is not hell. (190)

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