Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.
There's only one answer to that idea that I have to run after the rabbit of acceptance, and that is to discover that through Jesus Christ that you are forever loved and forever accepted. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see yourself in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, Free Yourself, Be Yourself. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It could be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. As you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. More on that later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. A lot of us in life, what we're chasing is not a fake, furry rabbit. We're chasing after acceptance. We're chasing after love.
Here's what happens, I think. Somebody in your life will find out whether you'll run harder if they'll withhold acceptance. So oftentimes parents and teachers and coaches and authorities and sadly preachers realize that because people were designed and made for love, we were made needing love and acceptance.
We have found that because that's the thing we want more than anything else in all of life, people find that out that if they'll withhold love and acceptance, that you'll do almost anything to try to get it. I've thought about my own life that especially in my earlier days where without realizing it, I'd be like, I'm running, running, running. Inwardly tired, inwardly anxious, but I'm going to get there. I'm going to have enough success. I'm going to find enough approval.
I'm going to do enough of what people want me to do. The problem with this is that love by its very definition is not something that is a reward for running fast. Love by its very definition, God's love, is something that is absolutely unmerited.
It has nothing to do with how much you've run, how far you've run, or how fast you've run. The problem becomes if we become like the greyhound chasing after the elusive rabbit called acceptance, what happens when you realize and finally admit to yourself, I can't catch that rabbit? No matter how hard I try, it's never enough. And what happens is that sometimes when a person gets to that point and you realize I have done everything that I know to do, I have tried and I've tried and I've tried, and I still don't feel accepted, and in fact what Grace is sharing was I feel like now I'm the ultimate failure. And at least in Grace's situation, and in many others can identify with this, is that it's at that point where you feel like you've tried all that you can do, I'm going to, I mean a Val, I'm going to catch that rabbit, I'm going to do what it takes to be a good little boy, be a good little girl, and I'm going to make sure that people are proud of me, and I'm going to be accepted, and I'm going to be loved, and then the rabbit gets moved further, and finally at some point that dog, any person will fall down exhausted and say, I give up, or somebody can come along, along the way and say, I'm sick of running after this, this is never going to work, this is, this is, this really is a one-way track to exhaust, and they just jump off and say, I'm just going to do things my own way, I don't care about anybody else. As we were seeing in an earlier session how it is so possible that the same route of shame can lead us to either towards perfectionism, or can lead us down the road towards rebellion, but it's the same kind of, same kind of process. Unfortunately, it is in our, in our own families where we first encounter shame, and it's not just for the, for the highly dysfunctional situations or places where there have been broken homes and alcoholism, all of us probably in some way get tainted by this, but somebody wanting you to do better withholds love and acceptance, and does, and you run hard after it.
So it's worth, it's worth sometimes just looking at your own, your own family when you grew up to think about it, and this was one of the very first little inventories I saw when I was beginning to learn about shame, and I began to realize that in shame-based homes there is a big emphasis on performance, and in fact the performance gets emphasized more than the personhood. It's not to say that it's like we don't care about the people in the family, it's just that the performance is so, is so important that what the child gets the idea is that what matters around here is that I do enough, and so the thought process is that I'm a human doing rather than a human being. It's usually also in a home like this where it's, it's, it gets, the message comes across, it's not okay to make mistakes, you know. It's not, it's not okay, it's not okay to, not okay to ever fall down, make a bad grade, mess up on something, not okay to even slip up and, and, and, and commit a sin or do something, it's like somehow that makes you feel like that's not okay, and if you, if that's the mentality then the mind of the child says that I need to be perfect, alright. So this is part of what Grace is, her little, the little girl's mind is saying we may not be able to stay together, I might be abandoned, so the answer to this is don't make any mistakes, just be perfect. It often is followed by not only you can't make mistakes, but it's like I can't do it well enough, no matter how hard you try. Somebody's always, you know, why couldn't you have done better than you did, and so this leads to the mentality of well maybe things just never work out for me because someone else will be better than me, I just can't seem to do it well enough. It also has the idea of you must always do it better, and that leads to the question always going through the child's mind, have I done enough, am I good enough, look at me and see, do I look like I've done enough for you. You see how this, this all goes together and then there's the idea of support that's only conditional. We support one another, we support you only if you're doing well.
So the child thinks I'm okay only if you approve of me, what do you think of me? And almost in every shame based home there are undiscussed issues and secrets. There are things that because we are so interested in appearance and we're so interested in approval, we're so interested in performance, the things that are going wrong here, the family may be besieged by alcoholism, the family may be besieged by all kinds of problems or even abuse and the whole message is you don't tell anybody about this because the whole message of shame is you just hide, you just cover it up, you see. And I just so appreciate Grace sharing her story because what she tells us in bearing her soul is the anatomy of how this can all come to pass in a child's life. It is to say essentially that shame seeks to lead you by withholding acceptance and love like dangling the carrot, like the phony rabbit. What will you run hard after?
You'll run hard to be loved, to be accepted and it becomes something that then becomes a mentality and a child can just grow up thinking like that and wonder later in life why am I so prone to depression. That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement get Alan Wright's daily blessing.
It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. Can you imagine what it would be like to be accepted perfectly? Envision it, being free to be yourself with no fear of rejection. If you mess up people don't roll their eyes, make fun of you or love you less.
Imagine no more of that anxious feeling that you get deep down in your gut that makes you feel like the pressure is always on so you can never really relax. What you're imagining and longing for is a life with no shame. In Paradise before sin came into the world the Bible tells us only one thing about Adam and Eve's relationship.
They were naked and felt no shame. Ever since the fall the human heart has been riddled with shame. It's a lie that says until you measure up you can't be truly acceptable. Shame causes some to say I'll try to be perfect in order to be accepted and others to decide since I'll never measure up I might as well rebel.
Either way the heart is poisoned by shame and there is only one antidote. The grace of God in Jesus Christ. In his highly acclaimed book Free Yourself Be Yourself Pastor Alan Wright not only exposes the lies of shame he leads you into a revolution of God's love that heals your soul. Discover freedom, joy and destiny as you shed performance based living and let God take the shame off you for good. It's a life changing full length book from Alan Wright.
Free Yourself Be Yourself. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.
When you give today we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860. That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website PastorAlan.org.
Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. What will you run hard after? You'll run hard to be loved, to be accepted. And it becomes something that then becomes a mentality and a child can just grow up thinking like that and wonder later in life why am I so prone to depression or why am I so tempted towards the things that will just gratify my flesh. It's because that gnawing anxiety of never being enough just it's the worst feeling in the world. And you end up wanting to cover it up somehow if there's anything that would just numb that pain for a while. And so some people numb it with a substance, some people might numb it with a fleshly behavior and some people might numb it by just trying to be perfect and that's what Grace did.
But eventually she found herself absolutely exhausted with it. I want you to know that right from the opening chapter of the Bible that God made it clear that He does not motivate by withholding His blessing. He does not motivate us, He never did and He never intends to try to motivate you by withholding His acceptance.
Instead what we read that is one of my favorite verses in the Bible in Genesis chapter 1 verse 28 speaking of the man and woman that He had made in His own image says very simply and God blessed them and God said to them be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth. He tells them yes I want you to be fruitful, I want your life to be productive, I want you to excel, I want you to have impact, in fact I want you to have dominion, I want you to have vitality, I want you to say yes I want you to live a productive life but notice the order. He doesn't say be productive and then I'll bless you. He says I bless you, I accept you, I affirm you, you are made in my image, you are beloved.
He blesses them and then He says be fruitful and multiply. In other words it's out of the blessedness that God assures us that we become productive. So does God want us to live out a great destiny?
Absolutely, absolutely. But He doesn't want us living out that destiny with a sense of anxiety. He doesn't want us living it with a sense of I have to do more and more or else God won't accept me. Instead the gospel says to us you through Jesus Christ have been absolutely 100% forever accepted and the more that you are assured of that receive my blessing, be filled with the assurances of my love and out of that confidence grows in you and you can go and you can be fruitful and productive beyond your wildest dreams. But it takes an encounter, an awareness of the love of God.
So I want to invite Grace McCracken back up here to tell at least a little piece of the wonderful end of this story or it's not the end, it's just getting better and better. And so what happened in your life was a miracle and there also was a process but we just have such a small, I wish we had a whole hour to just tell what God did in your life but how could you summarize and just tell us what did God do when He began to replace all that shame with His amazing grace? Well God set it up that I would meet someone from this church that invited me to Rinaldo and even though I hadn't left the house or driven a car for a couple years, I woke up one morning and said to my husband I'm going to church. I just knew that's where I was supposed to be and I came to church and listened to the pastor preach the gospel of grace, not works and I wept through the whole thing and just received it and went home and said to my husband they loved me and I didn't have to do anything. So the next week I did the same thing.
I came back because I was just hungry for more and I did the same thing. I wept and went home and on the third week I heard pastor say if you need prayer there are people in the chapel that will pray for you for any need. So the third week I walked back in the chapel and some kind people prayed for me and the Spirit of God came over me and just did spiritual surgery. Took all the depression, all the fear, all the anxiety away and I knew as well as I know I'm standing here that I was never going to be depressed again. It was an absolute miracle. And all of us who had met you before and certainly any of those that knew you would all testify that a miracle of grace had taken place in Grace McCracken's life and people that meet you now Grace they could never believe that once you didn't even want to be around people and could never believe just how low it got.
But I thank you for sharing your story because I think it provides hope for everybody that's come to a place of depression or despondency or great fear in their life. It was a miracle but it's also been a process. You've been walking this out and replacing all the lies of shame with the truths of the gospel of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Well we had some baptismal party didn't we after that because you decided you wanted to get baptized and so we did over at Doris Hall's pool and there were a number of folks that came out to get baptized that day because others had been coming to Christ through the prayers of those neighbors and I guess most of all the greatest excitement was to see your own husband Denny and I didn't know if sure he was going to come that day but there he came down carrying his towel and I loved what he said later that he knew God must be real because he'd been giving his wife back and what a wonderful, wonderful tribute.
God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all that you might ever ask, imagine or think. If you have found and identified with some of the symptoms of growing up in a shame based home you're by no means alone. It surrounds us and there's only one answer to that idea that I have to run after the rabbit of acceptance and that is to discover that through Jesus Christ that you are forever loved and forever accepted. It changed my life, that glorious news changed Grace's life and it can change yours too.
That's the gospel. Allen Wright, today's good news message when shame becomes grace from the series Free Yourself, Be Yourself. Pastor Alan joins us back here in the studio for one final closing thought today in just a moment.
Stay with us. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace filled vision for your life by signing up for Allen Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Allen Wright's daily blessing.
It's free and just a click away at pastorallen.org. Can you imagine what it would be like to be accepted perfectly? Envision it, being free to be yourself with no fear of rejection. If you mess up, people don't roll their eyes, make fun of you or love you less. Ever since the fall, the human heart has been riddled with shame.
It's a lie that says until you measure up, you can't be truly acceptable. In his highly acclaimed book, Free Yourself, Be Yourself, Pastor Alan Wright not only exposes the lies of shame, he leads you into a revolution of God's love that heals your soul. Discover freedom, joy, and destiny as you shed performance-based living and let God take the shame off you for good. It's a life-changing, full-length book from Allen Wright.
Free yourself, be yourself. The gospel is shared when you give to Allen Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.
When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Allen Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastorallen.org. Back with Pastor Alan and our good news thought for the day.
And I think there's good news to know that you can be off of that racetrack, not chasing a furry rabbit anymore. What freedom? It's so freeing. And just like the miracle that Grace McCracken experienced, there is a miracle that is available to any of us and all of us. There are many, many miraculous things that God does. And sometimes God heals the body, and it's a wonderful miracle. But I tell you, if you can have your shame healed, it might be the greatest miracle other than your salvation you could ever experience.
No matter how deep your shame, no matter how bound up you might have been from past trauma or ungodly ways of living and oaths, God is here today, and His grace is available to set you free and to take the shame off you. I started realizing I need to personally learn about this because I don't want to live as if there's some hidden force that's guiding all my steps other than the Lord Himself and the gospel of grace. So I began pursuing it, and I thought, you know what? This is important, and I'm going to preach a message on it. Well, as sometimes is the case, I preached a message on it, and I was probably preaching more to myself than anybody else. But, boy, the Holy Spirit began to move. And I think I preached for at least 18 weeks, taught all of it on Sunday nights, taught all of it on Wednesday nights. And just, well, it was something of a revival in our church. People who had never come and said, I need prayer because of something traumatic in my life, people who had never thought of shame, like people who had destructive patterns in their relationship, all manner of people began opening up their hearts to the grace of God like never before. And we began to see healing and transformation, and it just went on and on for weeks. And then from there, Daniel, it just became something that shaped my life, shaped my family's life.
Oh, I was so thankful to learn about this before we had kids. And because I'm sure I would have parented with shame rather than with the shame off you. So I called that original series Shame Off You. In a world that is always saying shame on you, you ought to be ashamed of yourself, Jesus came to give us something totally different.
They take the shame off of us. And I knew at that time, eventually, I'd put it into a book if the Lord allowed. And but it was not until, oh, maybe a couple years later that after I learned so much more that I put it into the book originally called Shame Off You.
And then same exact book re-released as publishers do sometimes under a different title For Yourself, Be Yourself, but same exact book that has helped so many thousands over the years. And that's really how this whole thing got going. And boy, I tell you, it not only rocked my world, but for everybody else who started hearing it. And that's what people have been saying to me now for 20 years is I'd never heard of this before.
And this changes everything. Thanks for listening today. Visit us online at pastorallen.org or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. If you only caught part of today's teaching, not only can you listen again online, but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching delivered right to your email inbox free. Find out more about these and other resources at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
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