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Friday, July 9, 2010

Theology on a T-Shirt

So I've been thinking a lot about my t-shirt lately!  Sound strange?  It probably is; but that's me, strange.  :)

The shirt I have been thinking about is the one that says, "Jesus loves you...but I'm his favorite".  A conversation at Wal-mart has me pondering it.

The checker at Wally world is one we have had before and he is very nice.  He does a great job and offers fun conversation while he works.  The last time I was in and had him as a checker, I was wearing my shirt.  We had been talking when he looked at my shirt.  He read it and said, "Oh no, that's not true!" 

I laughed lightly because some people have been known to be offended with this shirt.  Usually they are proclaiming Christians.  Don't ask, it infuriates me.  "Sure it is" I replied.  He eyed me warily and we continued on with our light bantering.

But the thought struck me when we were getting the groceries out of the car and into the house.  Which part did he not believe was true?  That Jesus loved me or him?

I am pretty sure this guy is not living a moral life and looking back I can see that he might not believe that Jesus loves him.  I missed my chance.  I missed a perfect opportunity to tell him about the love of a God that pursues us even when we are wallowing in our sin.  The love of a Savior that willingly died so that we didn't have to to pay for our sins.  The love of a Father that was greater than any love he could ever imagine.

I failed to see the opportunity that was staring me right in the face.  Literally.

So, my question is this:  Do you really believe what this shirt says?

1.  "Jesus loves you"(the other person)?  If you did, would you be so irritated with them when they didn't do what you wanted them to?  How about when they cut you off on the highway?  How about when they were mean to you?  Maybe when they spoke truth to you and you didn't want to hear it?  Did you believe it then or did you get irritated with them?  Did you speed past them on the road thinking bad thoughts?  Maybe yelling out a few 'safe' mean words?

2.  "I'm his favorite"  Now before you get all worked up, I know that God is not a respecter of persons and that he truly doesn't have favorites but it's really about more than that.  It's about knowing that He loves ME so much that He pursues me and loves me enough to not let me stay in my sin.  He loves me enough to discipline me and steer me on a different path for my own good.  He loves me enough to let me help glorify His name and kingdom.  Do I really believe that he knows the numbers of hairs on my head and that he knew me before I was born?  That's pretty intimate and it takes initiative; His not mine.  He chose me.  He loves me.  Not because I am better than anyone else but because I am not anyone else.  I am who He made me to be (at least I am trying to become that!) for His glory, His honor, and His praise.

So, what do you think?  Do you know that Jesus loves you and that you are his favorite?  ;-)


Anonymous said...

Thoughtful questions, Renita. I appreciate your explanations.

Regina said...

While the saying on the shirt has some special significance to you, non-believers don't and can't get it. I didn't come to Christ until I was 25, so I can totally understand this from the other side. Shirts like these and catchy bumper stickers and cross earrings aren't good evangelical tools. I believe they may actually harm any efforts to reach out to anyone who is far away from God. When I saw these things and came across people with these things, in my mind it was snobbish. Yeah, being a christian is an awesome thing and he calls for us to be set apart, but to an non-believer these methods of setting oneself apart came across as a way to identify oneself with an elite group. And while being one of god's adopted children is and elite group, these t-shirts, bumperstickers WWJD bracelets gave no invitation to that group. It flew in my face and turned me off to Christianity that much more. What really set me on the road to seeking him was a few wonderful people that lived it. They were kind--without being "in your face" with "read you bible" know Jesus know peace..." They were my friend even though I was not "in their crowd" and I was able to watch thei faith in action. It made me really look at their life and wonder "what is going on there." And whan I looke, I say their convictions, their reliance on the bible, their gratitude, and their true worship. I saw these things in their everyday lives, not at church, and I wanted it.

So, no, I don't think the t-shirt relays the message you may wish for it to do.

momma24 said...

Mom-e-mae, thanks for the point of view. I don't really wear it for anyone else. My brother who is somewhat of an atheist bought it for me and I love it! I mostly get great reactions when I wear it. People chuckle. Except Christians-they think it is tacky or rude or something (some not all). I'm not too into the whole evangelize by wearing items with messages. If they can't see me living it out, there's no point.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jerralea said...

Your post was very thought-provoking ... how many opportunities to tell of God's love have I missed? Probably a lot!

Beauty said...

I personally love the shirt. It does make me chuckle...I feel a close relationship with Heavenly Father and that shirt makes me feel like He is with us always. I can picture him with His arm around my shoulder and having a good chuckle too.

Karyn said...

You raise the most important point in the debate over this catchy phrase....the fact that you (as you say)did not take an opportunity to share Jesus' love with someone who does not yet know it.

Personally, I love the saying for myself - but I'd hesitate to display it to an unbelieving world who may not see the first part and only focus on the second, thinking they are left out.