Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.
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? 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. Welcome again, our second segment, When Shame Becomes Grace. Welcome to all you guys. Thanks for being here and I'm just enjoying being with you and everybody that's going to be studying this in small groups or if you're just following along for your own personal growth, Lord bless you. As last time, we were just getting an introduction to what shame is, what the definition of shame is, and how the gospel says something entirely different. And we want to dive in a little deeper in this segment to not only learn about how grace can replace shame, but to actually hear a testimony that I think will really, really be encouraging to you.
So my favorite story about the way we tend to breathe in grace all around us. A man goes into a pet store and he walks by a parrot at the front. And the parrot goes, Baa. The man looks over at the parrot and the parrot says, You're fat.
Your wife's ugly. The man couldn't believe it. He just walked away and he came walking by again. The parrot said, Baa. The man said, What? The parrot said, You're fat.
Your wife's ugly. Well, this happened several times. And he finally, when the bird said it for the third time or fourth time, he went back at the pet store owner and he said, That bird up there is insulting me every time I go by. And he said, I'm about ready to leave. And the pet store owner said, Don't you worry about it. I'm going to go have a talking to. I'm going to get that bird.
It won't happen again. He goes up there. He grabs that bird by the scruff of the neck, shakes him around a little bit. He says, I'm so tired of you insulting my customers.
If you tell that man that he's fat and his wife's ugly one more time, I'm going to come up here and I'm going to wring your neck. He throws the parrot back into the cage and goes over to the customer and says, He's not going to bother you anymore. So the man went around.
He gathered up the things he was going to be purchasing. And as he was leaving the store, he walked by the bird and he eyed that bird over there. And suddenly the parrot goes, The man said, What?
The parrot said, You know what? It's kind of like that with shame. It's like somebody somewhere has got some little thing they hold over you or it's just this idea. It's like it's in the environment. It's all around us that even if I'm not telling you actively what it is that is wrong with you, I'm letting you know in some way or another, you know what?
And I'm keeping score and I'm keeping track of this, that kind of thing. Well, this causes a tremendous disturbance to the soul. It causes there to be an anxiety that's inside of us. Now, unfortunately, the people that often we most need to receive love from are the ones who they are so afraid that we may not be all that we can be. They may have not received love themselves.
The very ones that we most need to receive that acceptance from sometimes don't know how to give it. And therefore, shame finds its roots often in our families. In the second chapter of the book, there is, well, the star of the story, of course, is Jesus. But there's a supporting role that is a very important one, a lady named Grace McCracken. And I titled that chapter When Shame Becomes Grace because as her name speaks, she is a tribute, a trophy of the grace of God. And I could tell you her story, but why me tell you when we've got Grace right here with us. And so, Grace, come on up here and just join me and welcome.
God bless you. Always great to talk to you and to share incredible story, which we will get to the absolutely wonderful news of your story and how Grace became so real in your life. But when I first met you, you had been really at a low, low point in your life. I think in order to set the stage of your story, maybe start there, how difficult had life become for you? Well, life was always difficult for me.
It was always just putting one foot in front of another, but I don't remember joy, too much joy because my parents split up. My father left us when I was eight. I have two brothers and my mother was uneducated and did not have any skills so she couldn't find work. So we lost her home and went to live with my grandparents in a little four-room home with other family members whose parents had left them. And it was a hard place.
There was no privacy and the men drank and the women were all depressed or anxious or fearful. So I learned it. I really learned it.
It was modeled for me. So I struggled. I went and finished school and I worked and I did the thing. I got married.
I did everything that normal people do, but I was always just putting one foot in front of each other. And later in life, after I got married, my mother became very ill and she came and lived with us and I took care of her. And I really believed that if I did the very best for her, that she would get better. She became very, very ill the last year of her life, several surgeries.
So I just didn't even sleep, just did everything for her and cooked her the right food and did everything. And she died. And when she died, part of me died too. All my hope died.
I thought it was a failure. One time when she got a little bit better, I remember telling my husband, I got another chance. If I just do better, she'll be totally healed.
I really believed that. And when she died, I died too. So it wasn't just grief. You became hopeless and it showed up in depression. I know you saw doctors. You tried everything. I did.
We went everywhere you could go. And I took all kinds of medication and nothing, nothing helped. Nothing helped. And it got so bad that I couldn't leave the house. Then I started having panic attacks. When nighttime would come, I could not sleep at night. And when even night would approach, I'd start getting a panic attack. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and have a panic attack. Just cry and cry and cry and cry until I had to hydrate. It's something I know that others can identify with, a point where everything just feels dark.
It feels hopeless. And I know when I first met you and what a privilege that was, but I could tell that even at that time you were anxious. And of course, a wonderful miracle would come to pass in your life. That's Alan Wright, and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Talk 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. But going backwards from that point, back to when you were a little girl, at least now later with the Lord's help, you've been able to identify some of the beginning points of this with a vow that you made. And I think that this just gives such a vivid picture of the nature of shame of what can start such a destructive path.
There have been a lot of alcoholism, a lot of, as you said, a lot of depression. And then there was a day you saw your mother cry and something that she said. Share what happened that day. I had never seen in my whole life, you know, I had never seen my mother cry.
I always thought she was so strong. And one day my brothers and I were doing something misbehaving and she was at her stress level, I guess, at the height of her stress level. And she said, if you all don't behave, I'm not going to be able to keep you all together. And all I heard was, well, you know, we're going to be separated and I'm going to lose some more of my family. And I remember just as clear as it's today at making a conscious vow, I will never let my mother cry again.
So let's just pause right there and pay real attention to that. If you want to get an anatomy and understand this whole diabolical cycle of shame, how it gets started and what can happen is that, you know, here is Grace. She's a little girl and all that she knows in her world at that time is uncertainty.
And some of it's because of alcoholism, some of it's because of other depression. And her mother is just fearful at that time. She's just afraid. She's not trying to plant fear in you. She's not trying to plant shame in you. But it's what all a little girl could do is just to hear that and say, oh, no, there's something that now is up to me.
If I'm going to be accepted and not abandoned, then I better do something about this. And that vow, I'll never let my mother cry again. Then when we fast forward years later and you're taking care of your mother literally still operating out of a vow from your childhood that was rooted in the fear of being abandoned, but you don't realize all of that.
And it literally then led to this downward cycle wherein you get to that point of great desperation in your life. Now, later on, we're going to be able to tell them the good news of this because I'm sure that everybody can see from your face that you're no longer the depressed and fearful woman. In fact, for any of us that know Grace, if you didn't believe, if you didn't know her beforehand, you'd hardly believe it. God is so good. Thank you, Grace, so much for sharing your story with us. Have you ever seen those doll Graces?
You know, I was a child sometime in Florida. I got to see the greyhounds racing around the track. I guess they still do these races that the greyhounds the fastest dog in the world. And what they do is they put a phony mechanical rabbit out on a robotic arm that goes around the track and they open the gates and those greyhounds, those lean, mean racing machines, they tear off after that phony rabbit.
And the problem is twofold. One, the closer they get to the rabbit, the more the rabbit just keeps moving away from them. Secondly, if the dog ever did catch the rabbit, it would not be satisfying at all because it's just kind of a fake rabbit around a cage. And in fact, I read one time a dog, there was a mechanical failure and the dog actually caught up to the rabbit.
That was a disappointed greyhound dog, wasn't it? I'm telling you, if I were Dr. Doolittle, I think I'd have to have a little talk with those rabbits and tell them, guys, this doesn't make much sense. You come out here night after night and you race around trying to catch the same rabbit, but have you noticed you never catch the rabbit?
If I were Dr. Doolittle, I'd have to have a little therapy session with the dogs and tell them, you know, you need to develop some healthy boundaries here. You need to get real with your life because the dogs are tricked into thinking if they just could run a little faster, then next time they'll get the rabbit. Well, I think a lot of us in life, what we're chasing is a 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 especially in my earlier days where without realizing it, I'd be like, I'm running, running, running. You know, 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 that point where you feel like you've tried all that you can do, I'm going to, I mean a vow, I'm going to catch that rabbit. I'm going to do what it takes to be a good little boy, to 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 the way and say I'm sick of running after this. This is never going to work. This really is a one way track to exhaustion 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 root of shame can lead us to either towards perfectionism or can lead us down the road towards rebellion.
It's just the same kind of process. Allen Wright is today's Good News message. When shame becomes grace from our series, free yourself, be yourself, taken from a conference not too long ago. Pastor Alan is back with us in the studio with a closing Good News thought for the day in just a moment.
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 in the studio to share Allen's parting good news thought for the day and how today's good news can change all of our lives. You know, Daniel, we probably all know a little something about what it's like to run after that rabbit called acceptance. And we all have somebody in our life that probably will try to dangle their approval out in front of us, you know, the carrot on a stick. It just seems like it keeps on moving. And my closing word to listeners today is that God never dangles his acceptance in front of you.
Christ came to die for the ungodly while we were still in our sin. He loves you. Does he want to change everything in our lives? Absolutely. Do our behaviors matter?
Absolutely. But he doesn't change us by withholding his acceptance but by giving it. So shame off you.
The love of God has already come in the person of Christ. 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 is 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 have 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. 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. Some writers talk about healthy shame and toxic shame.
I never chose to do that because it just seemed a little confusing. So when we use the word shame, we use it only in the negative sense of that lie that keeps us anxious and keeps us distant from God and from others. 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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