Hater or Fan?

Each month I write an article for a local magazine, Up In Cumming, and I also enjoy sharing those articles right here at SharpenHer. Lately, my husband has been counting the days till the kickoff of college football which got my mind spinning on a related topic. Check it out:

A couple of months ago my son attended Nick Saban’s Alabama football camp for kids, and he had a blast. Saban has critics and fans, and my son happens to be a fan. The dictionary defines a fan as a person who has a strong interest or admiration for a particular sport, art form, or famous person. My son is a full-fledged fan of Alabama Crimson Tide football….right down to his Bama backpack and the Roll Tide blanket that lies on his bed.

I’m a fan of a few things, too. Like my son, I’m a fan of college football. I love tailgating food. I love campfires and fall foliage. I have Pinterest pages dedicated to these things and spend far too much time researching more pins. With school resuming this month, I’m reminded of a few things of which I’m not a fan: school projects that require my help, early morning routines, and the staggered school release times my family will endure experience this year.

We are all fans of something. We might even be a fan of some people. Yet, the truth is, some people aren’t fans of us. Pop culture calls those people “haters.” If fans serve to encourage and bolster, haters serve to deflate and undermine. Haters don’t like us. Haters have personality clashes with us. Worst of all, haters cheer against us.

I’ve worked in churches long enough to know that some people think God is a hater. Maybe they were raised in a church tradition that portrayed God as the Great Killjoy in the sky ready to smite us the moment we step out of line. Maybe life has dealt them a series of difficult circumstances leading them to believe that God is conniving ways to make them miserable. Or, maybe they simply haven’t heard any applause in the stands. In other words, they’ve taken the field of life and haven’t felt God shouting accolades for them. They feel alone. To them, God is a hater.

None of those depictions are true. Someone is absolutely fanatical about us. Someone is cheering us on. Someone wants the best for us. We have a fan. Not a fair weather fan who walks out of the stadium when we are losing or when we drop the ball at the goal line, but a fan who loves us no matter what we do.

Its one thing for me to tell you that God is our greatest fan, but let Him tell you Himself:

Isaiah 41:10 (ESV) “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 43:4a (ESV) “You are precious in my eyes and honored and I love you.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Matthew 28:20 (NLT) “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even until the end of the age.”

No matter what society or circumstances tells us, God is not a hater. He loves us – all of us. Every. Single. One. He is fanatical about us. He’s done some over the top stuff to prove it, too. He certainly has standards by which He expects us to live, but He doesn’t walk out on us when we make unwise choices. Instead, He longs to bandage our wounds and get us back in the game. He wants to see us win!

This fall, when we see all those crazy football fanatics donning their team jerseys and painting their chests, let it serve as a reminder that Someone is just as enthusiastic about us. God’s love and devotion are unshakeable. When the haters in your life get too loud, allow God’s Words to remind you of His certain devotion….to you.  

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