Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. Only free people own things. Slaves don't own things. Slaves don't think like heirs.
And until people see themselves as owners, they'll never really work to their full potential. 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 can 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. Title of the message that corresponds to the title and the chapter in the book for yourself, be yourself, is how to get people to change. And I know that title, I just say up front, that bothers a lot of people because half of the point that we're trying to make is you can't get people to change.
You know, you're not responsible for other people. So this is kind of meant there to pique your curiosity. And it is to ask the question for us, everybody that's joining us by video for their small groups or just for personal growth, okay, if you've been with us and learning about shame, learning about the fact that it's a lie that says I don't measure up, I have to measure up and I got to make myself acceptable and how contrary the gospel is to that. The gospel is such good news that says that no, God's love goes first and He accepts us. And out of that radical acceptance in Christ, we're empowered to change.
But it leaves us with the question, okay, if I'm going to make a decision as a parent, as a spouse, as a friend, a coworker, a teacher, a coach, whatever position you might be in, that I'm not going to shame people in order to try to make them do better, how am I going to help them to change? Well, it went, it went viral here recently on the internet, unfortunately. It's amazing how these things wind up catching on so quick. But it was a preacher that was on his video and the video had him in the middle of his sermon where he was preaching. And all of a sudden, all you see is the preacher stopped preaching. And he said, no, no, no, I'm too important for you to fall asleep during my sermon. And he stops and he walks down out of the platform and goes up to the guy who'd been sleeping and goes over there and shames him right there in front of everybody for sleeping in church. And then he turned to start railing against some other people.
He looked at this young couple. He said, and there you guys are. Where have you been?
I hadn't seen you in too long. And I see on my calendar, I'm supposed to officiate your wedding. He said, I will not be officiating your wedding. You're the sorriest church member I got.
You're not worth 15 cents. And then he pointed up to the sound booth. He said, and you kids up there in the sound booth, this isn't the time for you guys to be up there having a party or something. He started railing on them. We started picking out people by name all on the video.
And I wonder who posted that on YouTube. But anyway, it went viral at the time. I'd seen it.
Hundreds of thousands had already seen it. By the way, I just want to say to anybody that would be in my congregation or anybody watching by video that if you do fall asleep, I'll count it part of my ministry to have given you some nice rest. And in fact, it reminds me of the man who said, you know, if you take all the people that sleep in church and you just lay them end to end, they'd be a lot more comfortable. I bring up that story to say, not just to say how is it possible that a preacher could be that far from understanding the gospel to think that he's supposed to go out and shame people and humiliate them and that's the way he's going to move.
But here's the question. Was it wrong for that preacher to want his people to be awake? No. Was it wrong for him to want that young couple that was at church to have been more faithful and coming into the body of Christ where they could learn and grow? No. Was he wrong and maybe wanting the young people that I don't know if they've been messing up with the sound just to be able to excel in what they're doing and put their work as a high priority with honor?
No. It wasn't, it wasn't, let's be honest, it wasn't wrong of him to want people to change. What was wrong was how he did it. See, I've told people, I've told people, I've told people in premarital counseling over the years, I've said it to other people, listen, don't try to get her to change. You know, you're getting married and you might as well accept the fact that you can't change anybody and so you need to accept them and so don't go into it wanting them to change. Really, I mean, I've said that because it sounds spiritual and all, but it's just not true. We do want people that we love to change.
I mean, let's be honest about it. I mean, there are, there are things in my kids, I'd like to see them change. In other words, when you grow, you change. So if you want somebody to grow, then they're going to change. Jesus came and his ministry hinged around him saying, repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. And what does the word repent mean? It comes from two words, change and mind.
Change your way of thinking. In other words, Jesus said, I want you to change. You have thought the kingdom of God was off in the distance, but I'm saying it is now at hand.
He's saying, you have thought that God was simply a distant judge, but I have come to show you that God is love. I want you to change your way of thinking. I want you to have more faith.
I'd like for you to understand the mysteries of the gospel that are unveiled in Jesus Christ. The reason I preach the gospel, the reason I write, the reason that we're developing these videos is because we'd like to see people be able to grow and to grow means to change. I finally just accepted the fact there's nothing wrong with wanting people to change.
The reason that we feel like it's so bad is because people try to get people to change by using shame. They try to get people to change in all of the wrong ways, but it's okay for a teacher to want his students to learn. It's okay for a coach to want his students, his athletes to be better trained. It's okay for a leader to want people to gain new vision. Moses wanted the Hebrew people to change. He wanted them to become obedient to the law. If Joshua wanted the people to change for them to have courage, Paul wanted his congregations to change. He said, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. We don't err by wanting people to change. We err when we use a non-biblical strategy to help people change. So let's get kind of practical. If you'd like to help people grow and therefore change, but you don't want to use shame, you don't want to withhold love and acceptance as a motivational force, how can you help people grow and change?
People ask me that all the time. Okay, I repent. I don't want to shame my kids anymore, but how do I help them?
And this is where the rubber starts meeting the road. I've spent time just meditating, praying through the scriptures. Are there some biblical ways that God has given to us to help facilitate real change in others? And I came up with three. Maybe there's some other other main categories that I've missed, but I don't know what they are.
I think of three. And these three ways of helping people to grow, I would say, are God's ways. The ways that God helps us to grow are the very same ways that we could help others to grow. And the first is this, to sow good seed. Here's the basic principle.
Paul says in Romans 12, verse 21, do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Everything, everything in this world is built upon the principle of sowing and reaping. And sowing and reaping teaches us essentially that this is the design of God for the universe.
Everything reproduces after its own kind. You put an orange seed into the ground, and if you get the right conditions, what will grow is an orange tree, and what it will produce is oranges. An orange seed will never in this world produce apples. So if you were to plant an orange seed somehow hoping that you're going to wind up getting an apple out of it would be the utmost folly because you can't.
There's no way. Well, in the same way, in the spirit, what we sow is what we can expect to reap. So if there is someone in your life, let's start with our kids, and you would like to see your kids be more patient because they're impatient, and they're always, they're always talking about how they want it, and they want it now, or they're impatient, they can't wait on this, can't wait on that. The temptation is what? To be just impatient with them, to be impatient about their impatience, to sow seeds of impatience into some child's heart that is already full of impatience is going to only produce a bigger harvest of impatience.
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.
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. Biblically, what Paul is saying is don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. So the spirit that you want to see cultivated in the one that you love. Whatever it is that you want to see developed in the other is the very thing that you should sow.
So oftentimes what I try to do is just stop myself because I feel my flesh wanting to just respond. See, if somebody sows unkindness towards you, because of the law of sowing and reaping, that sowing of unkindness towards you is trying to place a demand on you of a harvest of unkindness. That's why you wonder, why do I feel so much like I want to be unkind to them because they were unkind to me?
It's because of the principle of sowing and reaping. The very judgment they brought against you is causing there to be within you a demand in the natural to cause you to judge them back. But we are not under these natural commands of the spirit. We are under a higher order of grace.
And we've been set free. And so we have the potential by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to say, what's being sown towards me is unkindness, but what I have in me is the Holy Spirit. And the fruit of the spirit is love and joy and peace and patience and kindness. And I'm going to allow the spirit of kindness to be sown. It's contrary to everything the flesh wants to do because what we tend to want to do is just look at somebody that's frustrating to us, and they're not doing what we want to do. And our tendency is to just treat them by sowing seeds that are just as negative as what they're demonstrating.
But it never makes sense to expect an orange seed to produce an apple. Whatever you want to see developed in the other is what you can sow towards them, sowing and reaping. And it's all it starts in Genesis chapter one. It goes all the way through everything Paul teaches. It goes all the way through the Bible. Everything operates according to this principle that all things reproduce after their own kind. I think that's something very practical that you can do.
I think you can stop when you get in a difficult situation in a relationship of any type and you say, well, what should I do here? How could I actually help them get a vision of the harvest you want to see? What change would you like to see? Sow the seed that can produce that harvest. That's number one. The second thing that I've discovered biblically that I think we can do is to treat people like heirs, not slaves. To me, this is one of the most fascinating themes in the entire Bible. Do you ever notice that when the people of God were set free through the Passover, if you're not familiar with the story, it's the story where the blood of an innocent lamb was put over the doorposts of the Hebrew homes while they were slaves in Egypt. And wherever there was blood over the door, the destroyer passed over those homes and yet killed all the firstborn of the Egyptians where there was no blood over the door. And through this, Pharaoh let the people go so they were set free by the blood of the lamb.
It's a great story, a Passover story. Well, as soon as they're set free, there's an odd thing, we won't turn there now, but look it up sometime. There's an odd thing that you see, and that is that the Lord told the Hebrew people to plunder the Egyptians on the way out of Egypt. It was odd. In other words, he said, tell them to give them their gold, their silver, their jewelry, their stuff, their valuables.
That's odd. Now, this is in part to provide for the people of God as they went on their way, but I think there's something else going on. I think that God wanted the people to begin to learn early on, you've been slaves, now you're free, but I want you to learn something other than the fact that you're free.
I want you to learn this, you own something. So what was the whole narrative about? It was about the movement to a promised land. God wasn't just saying, I'm going to set you free from slavery. He was saying, I'm going to give you a territory and I want you to reign in that territory, I want you to have dominion in that territory, I want you to rule in that territory, you have an inheritance, you have a promised land. So the gospel is not just the announcement that you are saved from your sin and you get to go to heaven one day. The gospel is an announcement that you are saved from your sin by the blood of the lamb, but you were saved so that you would know that you are an heir. You are an heir of these incredible spiritual riches with which you have been blessed in Christ Jesus. That God wanted his people in the Old Testament to understand themselves, not only that they were free people, but that they were responsible people. They were heirs.
They are, they are, they are recipients of a great gift with great potential and they have a destiny. One day we were, I was up at the office on a Saturday afternoon years ago and I just, I was up doing a little work, but Mickey Thigpen, our executive director, was up on that Saturday afternoon and he was in the office and he was doing something, it was many years ago, and he was doing something, some task and I just, I said, Mickey, I said, why are you up here on Saturday afternoon doing that task? And he said, well, you know, such and such didn't get it done this week.
And I was like, well, why didn't so and so do that? That's part of her job, you know, and he said, I don't know, I guess it's just a matter of ownership. And what he was saying was, you know, he said, I've got ownership over this. He says, you know, I'm not going to rest until this, you know, I'm responsible for this.
I can take ownership of this. And he said, I need to do it. And he said, you know, someone else, he said, he was talking about a particular employee at that time who just, you know, just, you know, looked on it more like, oh, just a job you come to and you go away from, you know, more like it. And then, and then Mickey said, I'm trying to convince her that she's not a slave. And I was sitting there thinking about the idea of ownership and slavery and who was actually taking ownership. And I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, we're standing there off, I heard the Holy Spirit say, only free people own things. Slaves don't own things.
Slaves don't think like heirs. And until people see themselves as owners, they'll never really work to their full potential. And Mickey and I started talking about this.
We about had a glory fit right there in the office. You know, you ever get one of those revelations, it's like, I'm seeing something I've never seen before. And here again, in the same way that if someone is acting with unkindness towards you, you're tempted to sow a seed of unkindness. In a similar way, when someone is acting like they won't take ownership of anything, we tend to turn around and treat them even more like a slave. 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 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. Back now with Pastor Alan in the studio, and I love this message. I love the title.
It always gets my attention because you know how to talk to me. Okay, I need a step-by-step plan and how to get people to change. There's a twist to this. Well, it's a provocative title because, of course, we can't change people. But it's a myth to think we can't help them grow and change.
Of course we can. God wants us to change, wants us to grow, and all growth means change. And so God can use us to help others. But the way to help them is not by shaming them. And so today, and we'll continue tomorrow, Daniel, to give the biblical ways of helping others to grow and change. And I just would say as we close that if you think of that person in your own life who really needs to get a better understanding of who they are so they can change, tomorrow we're going to talk about the power of blessing. And it's God's wonderful secret of helping others flourish.
You can speak life and empower the people you love. Guilt and shame are two words that typically in the Christian world go hand in hand together, but there is a distinction between the two, right? Well, we're going to learn a lot about that. You know, guilt is a real thing, right? If I commit a crime, I'm guilty and I have guilt. So we're all guilty. We all have sinned.
We've all fallen short of the glory of God. To say shame off you is not to soften up on sin. That's not what it means. It's not to say that grace means that you get soft on sin either.
Instead it says, what's the solution to all of this? And what we're distinguishing between is what some have called true guilt and false guilt. But shame is something that's not just the same thing as false guilt. And it's not even the same thing exactly as condemnation. But what we're going to learn is that shame really is a system of thought. It is a whole stronghold, a house of thoughts, a way of looking at life, a way of looking at your own life. And it's subtle at times and you don't realize it.
And then there are others who've been through the deepest and darkest types of trauma for whom it is a poison that's been taken in very deeply and is very toxic. But the conviction of sin, as we'll discover, is a good thing. That's a gift from God.
It's good to know how we can go a better way. It's good to know how the grace of God can lead us into a better way of living. So that's the grace of God. The conviction of sin is not something to be ever shy about. It's something we should run to because it's good. It's from God. But the shame that I describe in this series, Daniel, is something we say it's toxic. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
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