4 Things to Learn From Jen Hatmaker


I love Jen Hatmaker.

She's funny and warm and engaging and smart.

I supported her organization a while back and was invited to her home. I was a stranger to her yet she treated me with kindness and love. Few have shown that sort of kindness to me.

Last week Jen Hatmaker took the evangelical world by storm in an interview she did for Religion News. If you're a Christian and missed this, you're either living under a rock, or you're a guy (and you really should get out more).

But if you're like me and watched the drama unfold, you were either left churning with your opinions or scratching your head wondering what in the world is happening to our evangelical world.

As the dust has settled on Jen's interview, I've gone from churning to scratching my head to finally boiling it down to 4 things to learn from Jen Hatmaker's example:

1. No one Lives in a Vacuum Anymore

As much as we'd like to go back to 1988 (said no one ever), the reality is that we're living in a new world today - a world of opinions and tweets and sound bytes and insta thoughts. Every word we post immediately becomes part of who we are. We can't take it back even if we wanted to, and we can rarely truly explain ourselves once it's out there. People have a tendency to hear shocking sound bytes with surprising finality. So be diligently careful what you say and how you say it.

2. No one Shifts Suddenly in a Moment

Shift happens slowly over time. If you've been listening to Jen over time you shouldn't have been surprised by her interview on Religion News. Rarely do opinions develop suddenly. We think and formulate and debate and finally reach our destination because of a turn we took way back when it was barely noticeable. Where we end up tomorrow is heavily influenced by the little decisions we make today. While Jen's conclusions about gay marriage might have come as a surprise to many, anyone who was listening to her over the last couple of years expected no less.

3. No one with a Platform is void of Responsibility

Few people have been given the platform that Jen has, especially as an evangelical woman. It's easy to envy her platform and long for her kind of impact. What we forget is that with every platform comes responsibility. Before we get caught up with longing for more impact, let's take to heart James 3:1-2 "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness". A platform is a gift God gives us to steward well. Let's treat it as such. Let's glorify God with our voices and remember the impact of our words and actions on others.

4. No one is Bigger than God's Mercy Is

On first glance Jen's opinions on gay marriage sound really nice. In fact some might feel she sounds kinder than most evangelicals. Some might even say she sounds nicer than God. It's easy to convince ourselves that we must make God's ways more palatable for others to accept Him. The truth is that we don't have to work so hard to depict God in a certain way. His word reveals who He is. His word tells us who we are. And when it comes to kindness, the best news we've been given is that God loves us enough to change us. There is no greater mercy than that Christ died to pay the price for our sins. The good news of the gospel is not that everyone is loved. While that is rather comforting news, the good news of the gospel is that God's love for us is deep enough to save us from our selves and to radically transform us. So you see, not even Jen Hatmaker's kindness can trump the massive love of Jesus.

So what was your reaction to Jen Hatmaker's post? Leave a comment.