So for about a year now I’ve been saying that phrase in reference to my own struggles with ADD and the realities of me being a bit of a loose canon. At first it just flew out of my mouth kind of non chalantly and people just cracked up when I said it… so as with anything that comes with performance… if it works you keep it. So every night when I would walk on stage and share a bit of my heart with people I would basically have fun at my own expense and then finish the thought off with the phrase that inevitably led to a good laugh for everyone in the audience. Obviously that’s what we strive for; interaction, comedy, fun, honesty. Before long Michael, being the marketing wizard that he, is came up with a great idea….. “That needs to be a shirt man“. At first I doubted that it was possible that a shirt like that would work, but then after a bit of coaxing Michael finally convinced me that we needed to try it and so we did.
Low and behold, the first night that we sold that shirt it went like hot cakes. Ever since that first night it’s been even more fun to laugh about my zany personality and drop the phrase “Don’t Hate it God Made it“. It’s one of my favorite things to talk about though. How God made me crazy because he knew that I had to be a bit ADD to be able to juggle all the different things that I juggle in my life. Husband, Father, Worship Pastor, Lead Singer, small business owner…. all of those require my full attention and the ability to jump from one to another at the drop of a hat.
So, how about that, God DIDN’T make a mistake with my ADD!!
When I share that bit of wisdom I see people smile from ear to ear as they begin to realize that they are not a mistake either. That God has uniquely gifted them to serve a purpose only they can serve in His kingdom is something that they may just be realizing in the moment.
This morning however I woke up with a wild thought. What if the whole point of that shirt was to remind me that there really are some people that are hated that really shouldn’t be hated. I’m gonna get to my point here in a minute, but I just want to be real with you guys for a second.
There are some people that I struggle to love.
I hate to admit it, but I struggle to find compassion for some people. Mostly because I equate the mistakes that I know they’ve made to them being SINNERS and DEAD WRONG. I was reading Bob Goff’s book the other day and I had something really jump off the page at me. He said this:
“if someone asks what I think about capital punishment, instead of reciting the party line and parroting someone else’s thoughts, I think of a teenager named Kevin (a friend in Uganda) in a prison accused of a capital crime. If the topic is same sex attraction, I think of a dear friend who is gay. Now, instead of talking about an issue, I’m talking about a person; someone who matters to me”
So my question is this: Who do I hate?? When I’ve been called to LOVE THE SINNER, and hate only the SIN?
How much differently would a racist old white man treat a black man if he actually took time to know the man, his family, and his hopes and dreams?
What about the Homosexual?
What about the muslim?
What about the bully?
What about the drunkard?
What about the addict?
What about the (on and on and on and on)
Who do we presume to become judge and jury on when we have been told “Judge not, lest you be judged”?
Suddenly a funny little statement has checked me BIG TIME. I’m kind of wishing that I had enough room on a t-shirt to put:
“HEY YOU, YEAH, SINNER….. LIKE ME, I LOVE YOU, CAUSE JESUS LOVES YOU AND THERE IS STILL HOPE.”
Yeah I get it, God can’t stand the sight of sin, but have you thought about YOUR thought life lately? Have you thought about the words that come out of your own mouth when no one else is around? Have you thought about how GREEDY you are sometimes? Maybe more importantly HAVE I? Creation and all that is in it is Created by God for His purposes. I believe that. Yeah we’ve perverted a lot of things that weren’t ever meant to be messed up, but at the core of the issue is still the soul of man. The lost world going to HELL. Are we really cool with some people going there because we disagree with “who they’ve become?” EVERY PERSON, no matter how messed up, IS ONE STEP AWAY FROM REDEMPTION. Why wouldn’t we attempt to help anybody take that step?
Don’t Hate it God Made it…..
NOW what does that shirt mean to you???
It’s amazing to me the differences between people. So many lines that define us that are constantly being twisted around to benefit the line drawers. You walk into church on Sunday morning you see all of God’s creation, in all of their splendor, and some in their shame. To be true not everybody knows every bodies business, but most people think they do. Lines get drawn on so many levels that it’s almost impossible not to at least feel them.
A family goes through a divorce and people think they know all the inside information and lines get drawn. Who’s on his side and who’s on hers… and above all else: where does the church stand?? Another may get caught drinking a beer at the local pub and the lines get drawn again…. who’s for it, and who’s against it. There are Conventions that make their #1 talking point the decision about women and whether they should be allowed to teach or not. I’m a member of one of those conventions and I think they do AMAZING things around the globe, but really??? That’s what you want the world to talk about when they talk about you?? The line you’ve drawn. Tell that to Beth Moore… who has had a HUGE impact in my life. I understand lines… I understand sin and the consequences of it… I understand that Jesus said turn from your wicked ways…. but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about STUPID LINES that are completely unimportant when people are dying and going to HELL.
Contemporary or Traditional
Rich or Poor
Sinner or Saint
Black or White
Male or Female
Baptist or Methodist
(Seeker friendly) or (Tell em’ the truth) church
Those are the few that I came up with in the last 2 minutes without even trying. The lines that divide us grow stronger and stronger the more that we focus on ourselves. The bigger our churches get the bigger and more powerful the committees become. WHY??? Well I’m on staff at a relatively large church, and I know what it’s like to go through huge growing pains… We know what it’s like when suddenly you have something that is working and you think you need to put together a committee to make sure it keeps working the same way. I understand oversight and EVERYBODY needs accountability, but do we really think our churches are big and well funded because of……. US????? Somebody GIVE ME A BREAK.
Pastor… do you really think your church is a success because of…… YOU??? HEY JASON…. do you really think Grace Community Church is growing because YOU’RE SO AMAZING????
NOT A CHANCE.
So why do we try so hard to bottle this stuff up and replicate it? More importantly how do we make the lines disappear? This is where this blog will take a little break….. Cause I want to hear what you think???
How do we make the lines disappear?
SO YOU WANT THE TRUTH
This is the main idea for my BLOG. To write all of my truest most honest opinions on different subjects. Starting with what I know best. Being a Husband, Father, Son, Leader, Follower, Musician, Artist, Worship leader, business owner, songwriter etc. and friend to all those in my life. You will hear opinions and realities here that you will never hear on the Building 429 pages, because these thought processes will be my own…. it’s hard to speak for the 3 other extremely wise men that I share most of my life with. In fact, in a lot of ways its unfair. Just because I have the gift of “gab” and they don’t, doesn’t mean that they alway agree with me on everything that I say and or do. Dustin York, and Brian Coleman at Grace Community Church are my dearest friends and they are my coworkers, but again, just because I have something to say doesn’t mean that it’s fair for them to have to agree on everything that I say and do. Therefore, I say again… this BLOG will be MY THOUGHTS, emotions, and beliefs on display. What is the purpose?? To inspire you. To help you to become a more direct person… and more confident person, one who isn’t afraid to dream even when those around you tell you that you shouldn’t. Yes in a lot of ways it will be about me, but it will also be about humanity at large and the ways that I think it could be better. You will be able to challenge me, but you will also hear my most direct and honest responses. Yeah, on this blog page if you choose to attack my opinions, I won’t be afraid to FIRE BACK. This will not be a politically correct situation as the Building429 Facebook/twitter/ always is.
So if you dare to look inside the mind of an self ascribed workaholic/ dreamer/ lover/ fighter/ leader/ follower/ award winning/ failure/ then this blog should really be quite a treat… and maybe, just maybe I can learn as much from you as you ever will from me.
Soooo…. You want the truth: Here it comes!