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.
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?
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?
Aha! When I volunteered at the Clarksville, TN show last month, I was helping a woman sort through the merch box full of shirts and I came across that tshirt–“Don’t Hate It, God Made It”. I was wondering what the story was behind it!
Seriously, though, I GET YOU. Me, I’m emotional, I’m crazy, I’m noisy, I’m talkative…you may have noticed!! Because of all that I found it hard to love myself…but once I learned to love myself, I was able to love other people more, too.
One gift God has blessed me with is MERCY. I’m friends with a lot of people with PROBLEMS and I don’t judge them. However…there are some people that are so hard to love. Recently someone who claimed to be my friend back-stabbed my sis in a horrible way and is pretending like it never happened–acting as a total hypocrite and driving me up the wall. After that I’m having a HARD TIME loving her. But that’s just it…love the sinner, not the sin…love isn’t a feeling. I might not FEEL like I love her, but I can ACT on it. Not pretend, but ACT ON IT.
On another note I’m beginning to realize that God is using my weaknesses the most and the stuff I might not really like about myself. I could go on and on about how much God has changed me, myself, and I, But what about others? How can I see in others that their weaknesses can become THEIR strengths, and love them in spite of their sin and flaws? It’s tough!! But again, if you truly love God and love yourself, you can better love OTHERS. I have chosen to love and associate myself with sinners because God chose to do the same for me…and so much more.
This is the first blog of yours that I have read and I am so glad I did. A t-shirt like that means a lot to me. IT GIVES ME HOPE!! I think you need to mass-produce these t-shirts. My son is gay and he won’t even go to church because he has been judged so many times. He thinks all Christians hate him. When you said the following: EVERY PERSON, no matter how messed up, IS ONE STEP AWAY FROM REDEMPTION. Why wouldn’t we attempt to help anybody take that step? ALL I CAN SAY IS AMEN!!!!! I sent a Facebook message to you last week and I think I misread you. I probably have ADD too! You are an amazing man of God. Maybe I can get my son to come to a concert of yours the next time you are in Des Moines. I know you would treat him with love.
It is so easy in today’s world to politicize everything. Homosexuals, Muslims, and Minorities cease to be people and become a movement. Why? Because it is easier to get people to hate an idea. That is what the Devil wants. If he can get us to dehumanize each other then hating becomes much easier. Great article. I’m so glad we have a loving and just God who looks at the heart.
such a great word bro… if we dehumanize others then it becomes easy to hate.
We are a world full of hate. Even churches full of hate. The church may not use that word but actions speak louder.. Your shirt needs to be on a banner in churches. People come in poor, fat, rich, addicted, searching, abuse, hopeless but the church unless you look a certain way is to busy.
For me personally I need to see it to tell me not to hate me. I think often God made a mistake with me. I’m his joke. You have given me a lot to think on……….
I think that some of us (or maybe it’s just me) kind of have this underlying expectation that everyone in the church is going to be perfect and sinless. So far I have found that is soooo not true. Denial of our sin, flaws, and need for God is a sin itself–pride!
Yet, sinner or saint, pastor or murderer…we were ALL made in His image! FEARFULLY and wonderfully made! Sin is the only thing to be despised, not us. Sin does not define us. We are perfect only in the way God made us. You were no mistake–God created you ON PURPOSE, no matter what the world may tell you.
The shirt-phrase reminds me to respect all people, made in God’s image–with a plan and purpose. It reminds me how small I am, in this great universe…and yet, highly-valued and loved by the Creator God.
Loving others, and accepting love, is difficult when you come from a broken/blended home life. Your perception of love becomes somewhat fragmented and shattered. The lack of security, at home, leaves one wondering about their worth and if what happened is their fault.
But God is a redeemer. He is a master at putting those pieces back together, creating a beautiful mosaic of a person’s life. When we see people that way, we know there is always hope! We have to see people(including ourselves) with the eyes of Jesus. Growing in our love, for Him, will undoubtedly help us to love others better.
This reminds me of something that I had a friend of mine in college tell me once. He was a homosexual & he knew that I was a Christian. I’d often stop by the Fine Arts building on my way to Bible study to say hi & see how his week was going. He was always waiting for me eager to talk for like 20-30 min. One night he asked if he could see my Bible that I had sitting on the table in front of me. I handed it to him & he opened it, flipped through to the love chapter & began reading it to me. He then said something to me that I will never forget. He told me that growing up he went to a private Christian school and was involved in church & that his parents voted to have him excommunicated from the church because he told them he was homosexual. He told me that he couldn’t understand why I was the only person who, as a Christian, didn’t judge him. I simply showed I cared.
I think as Christians we all struggle with judgement. We tend to not remember that we were sinners just like them. In fact, we’re just sinners saved by grace. We also tend to point the finger when really, we’re no different. The word Christian means Christ-like. What did Christ do? He loved people regardless of their mistakes. The No. 1 thing people want/need is to be loved. I think that’s what drives people to go to the new fads is to get attention so they can be loved by other people. This shirt means to me as no matter what people have done, that is still a precious human being handcrafted by God Himself.
Love the phrase DON’T HATE IT GOD MADE IT! What does this phrase mean to me? God loves everyone unconditionally. God loves the sinner that is not saved & the sinner that is saved by the Grace of God equally. Sadly, that is the hardest part for me to do (to love unconditionally).
Don’t get me wrong, I love people and even try to understand people who tend to annoy me for the most part. However, I’m not loving unconditionally as God intended.
Sometimes I try to think about how much God loves everyone just as they are. I even feel so much emotion just thinking about how much God loves everyone, that it can be overwhelming and bring me to tears. Yet, I still don’t love unconditionally. God is an awesome God and even though I try hard to fathom his Love, I know I will never fully grasp it completely. To love unconditionally? WOW! That would be amazing to see & experience.
Please send me a shirt!
This has made my day. As about the only die hard Christian at school I have to constantly yell at my self not to judge, because if I do, I’ve got no where. Before I say “He is gay, there is no hope.” I have to get to know him. Before I say “She is santanic” I have to witness. I judge so many times I have to kick myself just to shut up.
Thanks again for this post,
i completely agree with Abby above. Would love a shirt 2 :), shes completely correct. We shouldnt judge.
Love is the only thing that softens hearts and minds and boggles them at the same time. To love someone who is unloveable, is the only way we allow Gods power to penetrate the situation and make an impact on the world around us. It never matters if it makes sense to the people around us only to our father in heaven. His ways are always so much different than ours…those (wow, I could’ve had a V8 moments) much more His style.