Pastor, author and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. I had done youth ministry. I'd done clinical pastoral education.
I had been a pastor for nearly 10 years at the time, and I really didn't know what shame was. 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. As we get started with today's teaching, and it's really the inaugural teaching of this series, Free Yourself, Be Yourself, Pastor Alan joins me in the studio. Pastor Alan, it's good to be with you. I'm excited to hear what is audio taken from a conference where you had about 30, 40 folks ready to hear.
This is a unique setting. We have, in the past, Daniel, aired messages on the radio that were from the original series that I preached 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.
So just in that sense, figuratively or literally pull up a chair and join the circle, because we're going to now and in coming weeks, go over what I would say is the most liberating truths I've ever discovered. Center egg question, which came first, the sermon series or the book that you originally titled Shame Off You? Well, it was definitely the sermon series. And what happened, maybe listeners would be interested in this, is that I had been in ministry for a decade. I'd been to seminary. I'd had clinical pastoral education.
I had taken courses in marriage and family counseling at the doctorate level. I was thoroughly in ministry and I did not really know what shame is until I had a conversation with a Christian counselor in our church and we were having lunch one day. And the subject of addiction, I think it was what we were talking about at the moment.
I said, what do you think is behind it? And he said, well, I think ultimately it's rooted in shame. And I said, well, what do you mean by shame? He said, what I mean by that is a feeling, a vague or direct feeling that I don't measure up and that there's something therefore that's wrong with me.
I don't just make mistakes, but there's something about me that is a mistake and I need to improve it if I'm ever going to be really accepted and loved. And as he began to speak about it, I started realizing that this was going to be important to me and it was going to be important to me personally. And so we spent lunch talking about shame and I realized I had never read about it, never, I mean, I knew the word, but I thought shame, you know, Daniel was a word that would be used of maybe a guy in the gutter or something, you know, and somebody that made terrible, horrible mistakes or whatever.
I would thought it would have never applied to me. It was basically, you know, tried to do the right thing in life and so forth. And as the more I started reading about it, I realized that lie that says I don't measure up, but I need to measure up that produced within me a kind of drivenness, even in Christian ministry. And I started realizing I need to personally learn about this because I don't want to live as if there is 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 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 auto on Sunday nights taught on Wednesday nights and just, uh, well, it was something of a revival in our church. People who had, uh, never come and said, I need prayer because of something traumatic in my life. People who had never thought of shame, like, like, uh, 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, uh, because I'm sure I would have parented with shame rather than with the shame off you. Right. 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, uh, I knew at that time, eventually I'd put it into a book if the Lord allowed. And, uh, but it was not until, oh, maybe a couple of years later that, uh, after I learned so much more than 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, um, has helped so many thousands over the years. And, uh, 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. Aw, 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. Um, you know, guilt is a real thing, right? If I commit a crime, I'm guilty and I have guilt. Um, so we're all guilty. We all, we all have sinned. We've all fallen short of the glory of God. Uh, to say shame off you is not to soften up on sin. That's not what it means. Um, 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, um, what some have called true guilt and false guilt. Um, 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, um, 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, um, 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. Uh, it's good to know how, uh, we can go a better way. It's good to know, uh, 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, uh, shy about. It's not, it's something we should run to because it's good. It's from God, but shame, the shame that I describe in this series, uh, Daniel is something we say it's toxic. Yeah. Some writers talk about healthy shame and toxic shame.
I never chose to do that because it just seemed a little confusing. I, so when we use the word shame, we use it only in the negative sense of that lie that keeps us, uh, anxious and keeps us distant from God and from others. And, um, Oh, there is so much healing available. I can't wait to dive into this material with our listeners. Well, this is the very beginning. So if you're just tuning in right now, you're at a good place to start.
Uh, and we'll go on many different parts of this teaching and many different topics, but you want to give us kind of some highlights on the roadmap of the various topics that we have. Right. Well, you know, the first thing is just to really have a deep understanding of what shame's all about. And this idea that, um, there is this, what I would say, like a hidden tyrant within us. Imagine if your life is actually being motivated by something that you're not quite aware of what's motivating you.
And it's destructive like a tyrant. We're going to talk some about how we tend to make oaths, um, and particularly through a testimony of a wonderful lady named grace fittingly, um, and how we can live not by our oaths to God, but by his, to us and, um, the healing, we're going to go deep into, uh, the healing that can be ours. And sometimes we need to hear, especially when we really been hurt, we need to hear a confession on behalf of those who have heard us and we need to really learn to forgive.
And we're going to talk about that and Rose for Rose. And we're going to talk some about how hidden all of this can be and what the real solutions are. We're going to talk about, as I said, the difference between shame and godly conviction. Daniel will also have a segment in which we're going to talk about the effects of a broken home and um, and the hope that we have if we've been in a broken home and how much healing there can be, but how much we all need and want a mom and dad. And what do we do when we have not had what we needed? We're going to talk about the scapegoat and why is it that we have a hard time with our boundaries and we become codependent.
And if you've ever had other people put unrealistic demands on you and you don't know how to say no, that's going to be an important episode. Uh, we'll have a program also about what I call the agony of victory. Sometimes after your greatest moments, you can feel oddly discouraged afterwards. What's that all about? And um, in the end, Daniel, we're going to talk about how the theology of the new covenant informs all of this as we go to what I'd say is the highest vista of all. And uh, ultimately it's letting go of idols and trusting in the grace of God alone.
So it's deep, it's rich. We're going to laugh. We're going to cry. We're going to enjoy seeing the grandeur of God's grace and we're going to learn, uh, not just about shame, but we're going to be set free. That's the journey ahead. It's free yourself, be yourself and uh, let's jump right in.
It'll take you straight to the conference now with today's teaching. Everybody has been embarrassed. Um, and some of us more than others, I have had my fair share and some of that has been, uh, because I've married a very interesting woman.
Um, but this story was actually totally my fault and it was embarrassing because I was a young man. I had been called by the church. I still serve for an older church and I had moved to Winston Salem, North Carolina and I was getting ready for my first day at work.
This was back before we had smartphones and before we had the, uh, digital gadgets and all that. So I just had the old leather bound traditional day timer and I had, uh, I wanted to get started off right. So I had already had appointments set up with leaders. I had the calendar was filled up. I had notes that had been taking on some conversations, but I was ready for my first day at work and I was about eight 30 at night and I was going to start work the next day and I realized I could not find my day timer.
I was, I had been looking, looking and I couldn't find it anywhere. And finally I was so frustrated. I just said, honey, I said, come on, we're just going to go to the mall. I just got to start over.
And I was just in about as foul a mood as you could possibly be in to, to, to have that be my, my attitude starting out at the church. But, but we got to the mall. It was about 10 till nine.
We had about 10 minutes to just run down to that luggage store where they sell those nice day timers, grab one, buy it, get back out and just, I'm in a foul mood. And so I'm just, whatever you do, don't get distracted by anything. I'm telling my wife, we step into the door and I look over to the side and there are a couple of young ladies and they've got some pads, some notepads and, and they are talking to these young men and they, they, they, they look like they're taking a survey. And I just told Anne, I said, Oh no, they're taking a survey. We got no time.
If we get stuck talking to them, then we'll never make it down to get the day timer. I said, so whatever you do. So I started to walk the other direction. Well, one of the young women started walking towards us. I'm walking away. I'm thinking about a karate chop.
I'm thinking about, you know, giving a one of these things to just, you know, get away from me, whatever you do. I mean, and she, I interrupted her. She came over to me. I said, no, no, I got no time for a survey. And I'm sure maybe, hopefully I wasn't as rude as I felt like in my heart. And she said, no, we're, we're not taking a survey. I said, Oh, well I don't have any time. She said, no, aren't you Alan Wright? I thought about saying, no, no, I'm just not. I'm just not. But I said, yes, I'm Alan Wright. Why? She said, you're my new pastor.
I recognize your picture from the mailing they'd sent out to us. And it gets worse from there. Then she said, this is the horror of it.
She said, we're not taking a survey. This is part of an evangelism training course. And we've been over here witnessing to these two young men and one of them is ready to accept Christ as his savior.
And I thought you might be the one to pray with him. That's embarrassment. I've got plenty of other stories. You have stories also about times that you've been embarrassed. Your face turned red.
You were scared, but that's not the same thing as shame. 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 pastor Alan.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 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 we are going to be talking about in this first segment at 312 is really something that is rooted in a major deception. It's a very simple deception. It is a lie from the pit of hell. It is foundational to everything that I have to say about shame and about how the gospel can heal our shame. It is a simple lie that says, I don't measure up as I am and I have to figure out what's wrong with me and I have to fix it if I'm ever going to be acceptable. And what happens is that as soon as we believe that little lie, then everything as we will be learning begins to build on top of that. For if there is one basic deception that sneaks into our soul that we would call shame, then attached to that could be many, many, many others. I began to realize that this was an issue with me in a very surprising way.
I was actually talking to a Christian counselor friend and he actually brought up the subject. He counseled a lot of people who struggled with addiction and I asked him, I said, well, what do you think is at the root of it? And he said, shame. And I said, what do you mean by that? And he told me just what I told you, a lie that says there's something wrong with me.
I don't measure up and I need to measure up if I'm really going to be acceptable. And we started talking about shame and I thought it was interesting because I'd been to seminary. I had done youth ministry. I'd done clinical pastoral education. I had been a pastor for nearly 10 years at the time and I really didn't know what shame was. But what's even more interesting is I would have never thought that it was an issue for me.
I would have thought that's probably the last issue that I'm facing is shame, what he was describing. And so it made me think, well, maybe I should look into this a little bit and I began to read some about it. I began to study the scriptures and I thought I'll preach a sermon about this because this is an important subject. And what happened was I went in and preached that sermon and I knew at that time that this was something that was going to be huge in my life for the course of my life and for my own healing. And when we preached that day and there was an invitation for ministry right from the beginning, I saw that not only had the Lord anointed this, but that it's like people have been waiting their whole lives for somebody to give them permission to be real. And if there were an environment where people could be real without fear of being rejected, if they could be loved enough that they know they could be real, people began to open up about all kinds of problems they never talked to anybody about before.
And how could a problem ever get healed if it doesn't come into the light? It hit me one time in a strange moment in which I was actually had a delightful night or two away with my wife and I was actually just sitting after breakfast reading the newspaper many years ago. And as I'm just sitting there reading the newspaper, there was a story in there about the Iraqi national soccer players. This was right in that period of time in which Saddam Hussein had been ousted and yet he had not been found.
And yet it had become clear that he was off the throne and people began to feel safe about speaking up for the first time. And this was an interview with some of the Iraqi soccer stars. And I remember just reading it being just absolutely, just my heart was just torn reading about what they were saying. Because their star soccer player, he said, I love soccer. And he said, but I hated the idea of playing because before every game, Saddam's nephew, Uday Hussein, would call them, would threaten them, especially before the important games, and threaten them with punishment if they didn't win the game.
This was news to me. And then he went on further to say, I loved the game of soccer. I just wanted to play for the fun of the game, but I so wanted to quit.
He said, but I couldn't quit because Uday had threatened my family if I quit. I was sitting there reading this article and it began to just grip my heart and I thought, why is this distant story seeming so real to me? And sometimes when that happens, you know, it's good just to pause and let the Holy Spirit speak to you. And I felt the Lord just saying, it's because that's you, Alan. And as I began to meditate on it more, I began to come to this very simple truth that when it comes to life, all of us are either living life for the joy of the game or we're living it for fear of somebody's disapproval.
In other words, all of our attempts at success, all of our attempts to excel, they're either being motivated by fear of what will happen if we don't succeed or by faith and the joy that accompanies it and the hope that accompanies it, the faith that says I'm accepted. So I might as well, I might as well spread my wings and fly. Alan Wright. Today's good news message from the series Free Yourself, Be Yourself and the teaching in particular today, coup d'etat. Alan is with us in the studio here in just a moment with our parting thoughts for today.
Stick with us. 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. 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 here in the studio with Pastor Alan and as we put a bookmark here, we'll come back with more teaching coup d'etat tomorrow. But in this series, Free Yourself, Be Yourself, what's our closing parting thought today, Alan? What if there is a hidden tyrant in your soul like there was in mine? This tyrant doesn't put itself on billboards, but it certainly lords over you. Maybe you don't realize it.
Shame. It can be the motivational force and we don't even realize it. And I am inviting every listener to join me in the coup d'etat to overthrow shame and replace it with the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ so that our lives get fueled not by fear of failing, not by the anxiety of not being accepted, but we get fueled by the certainty that we have been accepted in Jesus Christ.
It'll change everything in your life. 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 PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries.
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