Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. There can be something that is really hurting you, but you don't want to let on. We've been trained our whole life to not let on to that inward pain.
Instead, we cover it up, and we hide that pain, and we don't tell anybody about it until it gets bad enough. 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. The sting of the hidden hornet, and there's a reason why we call it that, which we'll be sharing with you in just a moment. We've been learning about what shame is. We've been learning about just how possible it is that grace, the gospel, can replace all the lives of shame. We've been learning about the power of confession and forgiveness, and not letting any bitter root spring up in our heart that would defile many.
And I'm excited in this session that we're going to be able to really dig in and give some visuals of how shame gets built and how it gets torn down. I have with me my beautiful, wonderful wife, Ann, and welcome sitting next to me because I wanted to tell the story of the hidden hornet. I want to tell the story, but I know you could tell it way better than I. We had been in our church that we were serving, our first church that we'd been serving, and I wanted to be, you know I wanted to be, the perfect pastor. I wanted to be there for everybody, and I had drug you out once again to a funeral, not of a member, but of a member's brother.
I had so wanted to be able to minister to this fellow. He had been kind of, well, you remember, we had had kind of a distant relationship. He was a little bit of a porcupine, and we'd gone to the cemetery. It was a little hot day, and I'm going to jump start the story here to say that we'd been standing over at the graveside.
I wasn't officiating. We'd just gone, hot day, parked a long way away, stood next to the graveside, and I was just praying, just hoping that I get a moment with this parishioner. Let's call him Sam, and I just want to get a moment with Sam just to, you know, be a pastor to him, and this is his brother had died, and we go over next to this oak tree to stand under the shade, and we're standing there under the shade, and for the first time, Sam begins to open up with me a little bit, and he says, yeah, that was my, that was the last of my brothers, began to open up his heart, and I look over at you, and all I can say is that you had a very odd look on your face, and you began to, well, you began to crouch and wince, and I thought you had to go to the bathroom, and I was like, what am I dealing with here? I finally get a breakthrough moment, and my wife is over here distracted, and that's what I was seeing, and you say that I might have given you kind of a shaming look, but I was just, I was just wanting this to go well, and okay, we got to tell it fast, pick up the story from there.
Well, I was also committed. We were young when we started in the ministry, and Alan was the senior pastor of a very small church, and I was committed to being the best pastor's wife ever, and that meant supporting my husband, and so we were at the committal service, and it was over 100 degrees, and you know those cemeteries that are out in the country, and there's not a tree in sight for miles and miles, and we were out in that cemetery, and we had gotten up, I have to preface, we had gotten up against the tent where the actual casket was and the family, and there was a crush of people to get in the shade of that tent, and we couldn't quite reach. There were a lot of people had come for this service, and so we had crushed in so that whoever could could get in the shade of the tent, and also we could, so that we could hear the little pastor who was doing the service, and he was very quiet, and so we were listening, and there were people behind us, and people around us, and Alan and I were in this throng, this crush of people, and we were leaning forward to listen, and I could feel the sweat dripping down my back, and then I thought I felt something on my legs, and I managed to look down, and I had on a real straight, that was the days where skirts were a little bit longer, and it had a slit up the back, a straight skirt, and I had on heels, and I was standing right on top of a red anthill, and we were all crushed in, and I leaned over down, and I said, move over, and he said what, and I said move over, so we managed to do about this kind of move, but not enough that I felt secure that I was away from the red anthill, so for the rest of the committal, I just thought, as soon as this is over, I'm running to the car, and then the pastor went on and on, and I thought as soon as this is over, I'm running to the car, and so as soon as it was over, I turned to leave, and Alan said look, give me just a moment with this man who was in our congregation and his wife, and so we went, and we stood with them for a moment, and both of them were flanking me, and they were looking at Alan. He was across from me, and I was just thinking I have got red ants crawling all over me. I'm just going to, but I'm going to bear up. I'm going to be a great pastor's wife, and so I stood there, and this went on for a couple minutes, and then I began to feel an excruciating pain kind of in a private area, and so I began to kind of crouch over, and I looked at Alan as if to communicate as wives you know you can, it's time to go without saying it, and he looked at me with the stop it and get a hold of yourself look, and the couple were kind of looking at Alan. They weren't looking at me, and it got worse.
The pain got worse, and I realized that just for life and the pursuit of happiness that I was going to need to get hold of what I thought was a colony of red ants that were setting themselves up, so I just reached back, and I grabbed hold of my skirt where that slit was, and I pulled it up to about waist high, and I just reached down, and I just grabbed everything that I could get, and I figured I had gotten hold of it, but now I had just, it was like a loin cloth at this time. I had it up right here, and I was holding myself, and I said excuse me I've got to go. I've got to go. Get the car. I've got to go. He ran off.
He didn't even know how to make an appropriate apology. He ran off through the cemetery for the car, and I made my, I wasn't about to let go of this thing, so I just made my way like this through the cemetery, got in the car, and I was so thankful. I've never been thankful for this before or since, but we got in the car. He was a little miffed, but I got in the car, and I said I'm going to throw my skirt up, and I'm going to pop it, and something's coming out, and whatever does you kill it, and when I did, I threw that skirt up, and I popped it, and out flew a hornet. It's a good thing there was a hornet. I'm very glad for that hornet. It may have saved my marriage at that moment.
And that is the story of the sting of the hidden hornet. Yes, yes. Thank you love. I am sorry that I did not have more compassion on you that day when there really was something that was stinging you. 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. I don't think I gave her such a shaming look, but it's funny how it is in life where, you know, if that's a good picture, how there can be something that is really hurting you, but you don't want to let on. We've been trained our whole life to not let on to that inward pain. Instead, we cover it up, and we hide that pain, and we don't tell anybody about it until it gets bad enough. And sometimes the sting in the soul is just bad enough that we realize, I can't keep covering this up. My uncle Stanley, who is in heaven now, but he was a wonderful pastor his whole life, and he was the first one who gave me the image of, he said, so many people, it's like they're in the water, and they've got all these beach balls.
They're trying to keep them under the water. All of these problems we don't want anybody to know about, all of these circumstances, all of the turmoil of us, or whatever it might be, and it's exhausting. And I want us to learn in this session about how the stronghold of shame can get built, and how it can come down. You notice in the opening part of Genesis that here God has made paradise. He's made a man and woman in His own image. He is delighted in them, and they are delighted in God.
Life's perfect. There's no sin. And I wonder about Adam and Eve's relationship. I just wonder what they do with their time. How long did they have before sin entered the world?
Was time even the same as it is? All these questions, these things fascinate me. But I really wonder about their, what was their relationship like? What did they say to each other? How did they talk to each other?
What was their relationship like? What was marriage like in paradise? And interestingly, as God would have it in His Word, there's only one verse that tells us anything about their actual relationship.
It's Genesis chapter 2, and it's verse 25. And it says, the man and his wife were both naked and they were not ashamed. The only thing that we know about our relationship in paradise is that there was no shame.
It is a delicious thought. And if you've ever experienced a moment where there was just no shame, maybe there was a moment in which you were absolutely 100% loved and accepted and nobody seemed to be expecting anything of you. It's, I don't know, maybe a moment, like I think back about honeymoon. And I love honeymoon because you're married to the love of your life and she loves me, I love her. And you go off on a honeymoon and nobody expects you to do anything on it. I mean, nobody's a call, don't expect you to call them back. You're honeymoon, you know? Nobody's expecting anything of you.
And I thought, this is delicious. But when we're pulling in, I never stayed at a fancy hotel until our honeymoon. And when we're pulling in, I don't think I'd ever had valet parking. And so I didn't even know how to hand off the keys to the guy, right? You know? I mean, I'm just like handing off, and he looked down at me and he was like, honeymooners.
And I felt ashamed that, you know, I wasn't more sophisticated. I mean, even in the midst of that it seems like. But if you could just get a moment where you taste of what it's like to be free, totally free of shame, if you've ever experienced that, it is, it's heaven. To be really, really loved.
To be really, really accepted. It is, it's absolutely heavenly. And that's what Adam and Eve had. They had it all the time. The only thing we know about a marriage in paradise is they were naked and they knew no shame. And then, you know the story, as soon as sin enters into the world, what happens is that at verse eight of chapter three, they heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among all the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called the man and said, where are you? It wasn't because the sovereign omniscient Lord didn't know where they were. It was because he was highlighting through his question the fact, the silliness of them trying to hide.
But they were hiding. I heard the sound of you, Adam said, and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself. And he said, who told you you were naked?
Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? And the man said, the woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me through the tree and I ate. So the only thing we know about a relationship before sin enter the world is that they were naked and they knew no shame. And the first thing we learned about a relationship after sin enter the world is that they became ashamed. And with that shame came fear. And with that fear, they began to cover themselves up. And then immediately Adam started becoming blaming and trying to shift all of the shame.
Because you see, if you become aware, if you suddenly become self-conscious and you feel exposed, then your instinct is to just cover up, to close up and let anybody see you. I love the story my friend and mentor Dudley Hall has told about the old days where sometimes there were churches that had the baptismal pool like under the platform. And they would just move pulpit and stuff out of the way when it came time for the baptisms. And then they'd open up the pool and they'd just step in there and they would baptize people in the pool right under the platform. And often times they would just have some curtains that were set up on the side of the platform where the baptismal candidates could go and they could change their clothes and come out of their clothes and put on a baptismal gown and be baptized. But in one instance, one evening at this little church, it came time this woman was being baptized and while she was being baptized there was a man, he was behind the curtain, he was changing his clothes and as the woman was getting out of the pool she reached up and she grabbed hold of the pole, the curtain that it was hanging on and when she did she pulled down the curtain accidentally and there in all his nakedness stood this man who was ready to put on his gown and be baptized and all he could do was he saw there was a chair so he just grabbed this chair and hid behind it like this. Well some wise deacon ran to the back of the room and cut out the lights.
So now it was dark and they just left the lights out for what seemed to be an eternity, you know, to give the guy plenty of time to get out of there, get his gown on or get his clothes on or something and finally when it seemed safe they cut the light back on and there was the man still behind the chair because I suppose he just never knew when the light would come back on, you know, and if a chair is all you got you're going to hold on to that chair. Well that's the way Adam and Eve, they felt, they suddenly felt like that when sin came into the world and the Lord is so gracious that right there in the opening chapters of Genesis what you begin to see is that those sin has come into the world and those shame has come into the world, what does the Lord do? Does he say, well you're just going to have to just stand there in all of your nakedness and just feel the weight of this shame?
That's not what he does, instead the text says that the Lord made clothing out of skins for them, they had made clothing for themselves out of some kind of leaves or something like that but the Lord in the first sacrifice, the first blood offering, the Lord let blood be shed so that clothing could be made so that their shame could be covered. Never forget this, the Lord has from the beginning intended through blood to cover our shame. Allen Wright, today's teaching, Good News, The Sting of the Hidden Hornet, it's from the series Free Yourself, Be Yourself with a little help from his wife and Pastor Alan is coming up here in just a moment in the studio with a parting good news thought on this.
Stick 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 here now with Pastor Alan and what a delightful story and a great sermon illustration if there ever was one, right? Well, we laugh and we say, you know, I think God brings things into our lives just so we'll have a good sermon illustration later. But especially in Anne's life, my sweet wife, I tell you, Daniel, you know her and you know their story after story of crazy and unusual things and exciting things and marvels.
And plus she just tells it better than everyone else. But I leave our listeners with this. You may not have ever had a hornet up your skirt, but have you ever felt an inward sting that you felt like you just didn't want to tell anybody about? Well, maybe it's time to tell somebody. Maybe it's time to find somebody you really trust and say, my soul has been stung and I feel ashamed and I need to talk to someone about it because I can't keep it hidden anymore. You don't have to wait until the pain is so bad.
You can do it now. Find somebody and somebody you trust who understands the grace of God and share with them. Pray together and watch the healing begin. We have in the past, Daniel aired messages on the radio that were from the original series that I preach originally called Shame Off You. But much more recently, we put this into a conference format and just a setting that I love where we have maybe 30 people that are learning and growing through all these messages about healing from shame. And we just thought this would be a fantastic teaching to air on the radio and share with all of our listeners as if you were in the room with us, the group of 30 or so people.
What I would say is the most liberating truths I've ever discovered. Thanks for listening today. Visit us online at Pastor Alan dot 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 Pastor Alan dot org. That's Pastor Alan dot org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
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