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I Belong in the Kingdom of God – I’m Socially Awkward: Brant Hansen

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
December 21, 2023 5:15 am

I Belong in the Kingdom of God – I’m Socially Awkward: Brant Hansen

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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December 21, 2023 5:15 am

In a dark place? Brant Hanson discusses: 1) the valuable lessons from his spiritual journey, 2) the importance of knowing the truth and finding security in God's love among doubts, and 3) how skepticism led him back to Jesus. For those struggling to be social, confident, or happy, this podcast is for you.

Show Notes and Resources

Connect with Brant Hansen and catch more of their thoughts at

Find him on social media on Insta, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

And grab Brant Hansen's book, Blessed Are the Misfits: Great News for Believers Who Are Introverts, Spiritual Strugglers, Or Just Feel Like They're Missing Something

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Hey there, David Robbins here, President of Family Life. And you know, it is hard to cultivate a healthy family.

Even between two healthy people, the odds are stacked against us. For more than 40 years, family life has provided a safe harbor for moms and dads, husbands and wives, and families all over the world. Our daily program has become a trusted place that provides compassionate counsel to parents who want to build God-fearing hearts. And now I'm inviting you to step forward and contribute to a unique matching challenge that's active right now. Every dollar you give today will be deployed to bring hope to someone who feels hopeless. And every dollar you give today will be doubled in size because of the matching challenge. One of the things you may not know is that family life is seeing a fresh movement of God and momentum and building toward a fruitful season ahead.

In fact, we've seen an 84% increase in our engagement with families through radio and podcasting. Your contribution to the matching challenge will accelerate our impact in the new year to even more homes. So please take advantage of this opportunity to leverage your year-end gift to family life. Help families defy the odds. Help moms and dads cultivate godly homes.

You can go to to give your gift to the matching challenge. And we look forward to hearing from you today. So the conversation we had yesterday had me thinking about my life. When I first got involved in church in a faith community in college, joining that community of people who were Christians on a college campus was like one of the first times I felt like I didn't fit. I don't feel what they're feeling.

They're singing these songs. It was one of the first times in my life I was like, I don't fit here. And then think about this.

Think about when you gave your life to Jesus, how you went forward. Share that part. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott, and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson. You can find us at

This is Family Life Today. Brant Hansen's back with us, radio host, author of the book we're talking about today, Blessed Are the Misfits. Hey, let me ask you, do you say blessed or blessed? I say blessed, but I don't know. Yeah, I was looking at it like, where you wrote it, you got to know it's the best way. I just took it from the Bible.

I mean, it's a book about not fitting. And we talked yesterday. I mean, if you missed yesterday, go listen to that, because it was such a great discussion about how often when you don't feel what other people are feeling, you feel like you're less spiritual.

Or experiencing what they're experiencing. Yeah. And so, you know, Brant, you said you're a misfit from the word go, and your background is much different than mine.

Yeah. Tell our listeners a little bit like you were not the quarterback. You were this different. I did go out for football. Did you? Yeah, I was a little guy.

Yeah. And I was president of a library club. Did you play the flute? I played the flute. So all the markers of athletic, and then I grew to 5'10", my president size.

I was like 5'1", and suddenly grew to 5'10 for my senior year. My mom said, wow, you can play if you want. So I went out for the team. I had to quit because I'm not making this up. They did not have a helmet big enough for my head. You're not making this up. I'm not making this up. Really?

Come on! No, I went to a very small town. We were a very football-oriented town in school, but I had a size 8 head or whatever. Your head does not look big.

Well, thanks. It's shrunk a little over the years. But, yeah, so I didn't really become a star athlete.

Yeah, that's the extent of my athletic career, actually. Again, I was fortunate to have those gifts, but when I got to the Christian community, I felt like I didn't fit. In fact, the first time there, I sort of thought, I don't know if I fit here. Ann was mentioning, when I came to Christ, it was at a concert that my brother told me to go to. It's a long story, but I go forward as one of those, hey, if you want to receive Christ today, come forward. And I'm like, I'm doing this, and I'm the only one.

And there's hundreds of maybe thousands of people there. I walk forward. I literally got on my knees at the front of this stage. And you didn't feel anything.

No, here's what happened. So these three ladies come down beside me and get on their knees. They're older ladies. I was 19, 20 years old, and they're weeping.

They're weeping, and they're emotional. And there was two on one side and one on the other, and I looked at them, and I'm like, huh. And so this guy came up to, they had a counselor come up to you and say, hey, got any questions? I'm here to help you understand what just happened. And I said to him, I'll never forget, Brandon, I look at him, I go, yeah, it didn't take. He goes, what? I go, it didn't work.

He goes, what do you mean it didn't work? I go, well, those ladies beside me, they were weeping and crying, and something was happening with them. I don't feel anything. I just decided I want to give my life to Jesus, and I feel nothing.

And this guy looks at me and goes, you know, it has nothing to do with what you feel. It's based on truth, and let's walk through. And he walked me through the gospel, and I walked out of there like, okay, I'm a follower of Christ. But day one, I felt like that's real, and I don't fit that. And here you are. So if somebody had told you, man, there's something wrong with you, you need to open yourself up to God for real. That would have been so discouraging.

I probably would have walked away. Right. A lot of people do. Yeah. Do you think you feel like God can't use you if you're not like other people? I just feel like you must be a sinner, unlike they are. Yeah. Honestly, like everybody's caught up in stuff, you know, especially a younger man.

And you're always battling, always battling. But if you're not feeling so like, I guess I'm worse than everybody. Or maybe God doesn't exist.

Maybe this whole thing's fake. Because when you're an analytical person, you go to church, and some people just don't ask you questions. That's fine. But I'm there. I'm a musician, too. Dave, you know this. Yeah. I can make people throw their hands up in the air singing Don't Stop Believing.

Right? Let's do it. Don't stop believing. That's good. A secular song, by the way. That's what I mean. You go to a secular concert, and when they hit a certain chorus, and then they modulate, and then the drums drop out, and everybody's singing, and then back in, everybody gets goosebumps.

And the lyrics were about, Tommy used to work on the docks. But we're still having this reaction. But if it's in a Christian context, and I'm thinking this as an analytical person, like, what's really happening here? Because I can manipulate people with music, their emotions. Is God really present?

Or is this whole thing fake? Now, that's the struggle that a lot of people have. And if they're told... And if you said that, ooh. People would be like, wait, don't you feel God's presence here? Because I do. I feel God's presence in those situations. I'm like, well, then I guess I've blown it.

It's so freeing to know. Look, some people have an emotional reaction to stuff. Some people won't. Doesn't change the reality of God's presence. Doesn't change his goodness. Doesn't change where this is all ending. Doesn't change the reality of goodness and evil in the world. All of that's still true, whether I feel it or not. There's so much in the Bible that's basically... I mentioned David again, but he's saying, why are you so downcast on my soul?

He's talking to his own feelings and reminding himself of what's actually true. So yeah, you come forward, you're not feeling it. Still true.

Still here. Well, you said this yesterday, and it's in your book. If you study scripture looking for emotions and feelings, you're not going to find it. I mean, it's in there, but it isn't the indicator that you're a follower. No, spirituality is faithfulness. It's loyalty to God. Surrender. Yeah, you can do that with emotions.

You can do it without. A lot of men, not entirely, some women too, but a lot of men, they feel like the church doesn't make any sense to them, or they're just quiet about it, watching everybody else sing because they're not feeling it, and then thinking something must be wrong with me. And a lot of spouses think something must be wrong with my spouse because he's not emoting or she's not emoting like I do. So maybe they just don't know God like I do. And I think it's really unfortunate.

It's very disempowering. The other thing is your expectations. Maybe when you're young and you have these emotional reactions, when you first become a believer, and then that changes, you think, okay, where did God go? But we're not in heaven yet. I mean, the kingdom is here, but it's fullness yet.

So that's one thing I talk about in the book. What should we reasonably expect from this relationship right now? Total bliss?

Well, we're not there yet. Back in Jesus' time, when people got engaged, the dad would let his son go over to this other family and propose. The son would take gifts over, and he would take wine, and he would go to this house, and he would actually give gifts to the family, give gifts to the prospective bride, and propose this covenant of marriage. And if she accepted, he would pour wine into a glass, and if she accepted, she signified that by drinking out of the glass. Now, you can research this with Jewish customs.

This is just what you did. And then you had a period of betrothal where you weren't together. You were together yet apart, is what it's called. So, you're legally bound to this person. This is Joseph and Mary. Yes, right. They're in that period of betrothal.

So, this is very common. So, you would leave gifts to remember as a prospective groom. Now you're engaged. You got this betrothal. You leave gifts with the family, with her, to remember you, while you go back to your dad's house, and you have to build a room. And when that room is finished on the house, that's going to be the bridal suite. When that room is finished, your dad will say, now it's done. It's not up to you.

Your dad will sign off on it so you can go get your bride now. Meantime, what is she feeling in all this? Months go by, sometimes 18 months or something. She's not seeing him.

I spend a couple days away from my wife and we're out of sync, right? It's like, you've just met this person. You don't know him.

18 months go by, you've got your friends preparing you, making bridal stuff, your dress, getting you all ready for this big day. You don't know when it's coming. You just know it is. And I'm thinking about the feelings. They barely know each other.

Do they love each other feeling-wise? I would imagine it comes and goes, doesn't it? Probably at first, it's really exciting.

And then, what do you really like again? So, you've got your friends surrounding you, and you're planning for this hopeful future you're excited about. Well, then you hear a trumpet sound, and that trumpet is a shofar horn, and that signifies that the wedding is on.

He's coming now. That's what they would do. And so, the wedding party would all leave from that one house, go across town.

I tell you what, I'm getting excited right now, Brent. Okay, right? Some people aren't as familiar with this story, but we're talking about our relationship to God here. And Jesus seals the deal at the Last Supper. He's even saying, drink from this cup.

They would know what he's talking about. Like, I won't drink until I'm with you on that day. It's going to be a wedding feast. He even leaves gifts with them.

But he says, I don't give like the world gives. I'm going to give you my peace. So, you'll have this peace. You're going to have this comforting spirit that will be with you. And I'm coming back.

And there's going to be a trumpet sound. And I'm going to come get you. But I don't know when.

My dad does. And when this happens, I want you to know that in my father's house, there are many rooms. So, all you guys, like I'm coming back for you all. That's where we are in our lives, though.

So, to expect that you're going to be a total bliss. We're that bride together yet apart. We've made that commitment. We sealed the covenant. And he is faithful.

He's coming back. Whether you have emotional ups and downs. Okay. Maybe you have some mountain moments. Maybe long valleys, long dark nights of the soul.

Maybe so. But we're in this weird period. And I think we should expect that. And we just keep showing up faithfully.

And keep talking to him. In this weird period. That sounds like what our lives are actually like. So, setting people up for this idealized bliss. It's like, it's not going to happen right now. You'll get tense of it.

But we're not there yet. It's going to be good. It's going to be a big feast.

Big party. I look at both you, Dave and Brandt. You both tend to be more skeptical. You may not feel God's love all the time. Or have the emotions that maybe some people do in churches.

They're worshipping or experiencing God. And yet, I look at the faithfulness of both of you. You're both talking about Jesus all day long, basically, to people. Drawing them to the King of Kings.

To me, without the emotions, I have more respect for you. It's in your head, but man, to follow that every day out of your faithfulness. The Scriptures, Jesus, what He has done. That's pretty remarkable. Thank you. You know what it is?

This is love. Because if I get a reward for something, then it's about me. If I'm doing it for the reward, I should say. But if you don't get a reward and you do it anyway, why would you do that? In a marriage?

In a friendship? We're supposed to care for people who are the least of these who can't turn around and invite us to their own banquet. We're supposed to invite people to the banquet who can't. Because if we do that, why would you invite someone where they don't give you anything? Because you love God. There's no reward. Why would you do it?

Just for love. People who have the emotional closeness, they feel it like a warm blanket. God's there.

He's whispering into their ear. I think it's wonderful for the rest of us. We shouldn't be discouraged. Now, Brad, do you get emotional in any parts of your life? Yeah. When I talk about my kids growing up, just the passage of time or whatever, that kills me.

I don't even want to talk about it now. CURE International? Working with CURE, these hospitals where these kids get surgeries and you see the change and you see God's heart for them. Anybody who goes there, any of those hospitals, you're like, this is an embassy of the kingdom of God. When you see the kingdom, little glimpses of it, little advanced trailers of heaven is what I call it.

I think that's what healing is. We get goosebumps. We see the before and after.

We see what's happening. A mom is crying tears of joy. That makes me emotional. Being in the OR and watching a little girl asleep on the table and her whole life is being changed.

She's being prayed over. Why did you ask that question? Well, I just wondered, as Ann knows, I cry at every movie.

Interesting. It doesn't matter if it's a tender, sad, it could be hilarious. Rambo, Terminator. Somewhere in Rambo, I will cry. Is it true? It's so true. I was in a men's group one time and we're in a car and they're like, let's put on Meet the Parents to see if Dave cries. And sure enough, they're like, you're crying right now.

How in the world? And it's like something will hit me. Usually, it's like the gospel. And not like blatantly, but some element that reminds me of the love of God for somebody that's far from Him or somebody's loving somebody that doesn't deserve it. That's where I get sparked. And in church, when I cry, is when there's a testimony. Life change. It isn't often during worship.

It could be. But usually when somebody's telling a life changing story, how God met them, I'm like, look at me, I'm tearing up right now. That's emotional for me. And I'm a very factual guy. And that's not always factual, but I'm like watching the truth of the word in real life.

And there's something that hits my soul there. I get a weird theory. Like science doesn't really know why we get goosebumps. They don't really.

They don't either, honestly. But it's very common that we get goosebumps to the same things. And to me, it's when we have this glimpse of heaven. And people don't know it. And non-believers get the goosebumps too. They don't know why. Why at the Olympics, when all these nations are gathered together as one and at peace, and we see people marching ceremonially, like I get goosebumps from it. Why? It's like when you see video of somebody being reunited, a soldier dad surprises his little daughter in the classroom out of nowhere. Like, why? The voice or American Idol, they'll say someone will sing and they'll say, oh, I have goosebumps.

Right. There's a French word called frisson for it. But it's like they're trying to figure out why. It's this sudden surprising thing that happens, but it's not chaos. It's something surprising that makes sense. So like this surprise reunion. Why does that give us goosebumps? An emotional reunion that you didn't see coming in.

But yes, it had to happen. Why? Like, it's a glimpse ahead. Somebody gets their hearing for the first time. You've seen those videos. They can hear like, we're all getting goosebumps.

Why? Why when someone is healed? The deaf can hear.

You don't have to be a believer. You get goosebumps. I think it's because we're nostalgic for this place we've never been, but we know that's where we're from. That's good. We long for it.

We're made for it. Right. So music is the same thing.

You know this as a musician. It's creation of a theme. The theme is taken down and then restored.

And then sometimes restored and modulates up a key or something. Like it's a surprise, but that's what gives people goosebumps. They'll throw their hands up. They don't even know why, but it's again this creation, fall, redemption hint that we know deeply is true. Even in instrumental music, it's there. Yeah, here.

Yeah, they'll do it. No, I'm not going to do it, but when you said that, I was thinking, the first time I heard this was during COVID. You'll probably remember this because it bombed all around the internet and then in churches.

But we were all at home and nobody could go to church. And then Kerry Jobe releases this song. The Lord bless you and keep you.

You know, it's numbers. Make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. Lord, turn His face towards you and give you peace. Here's where I cried. She goes, and may His favor be upon you and a thousand generations and your family and your children and their children and their children. First time I heard that line.

Yep. I'm weeping because I come from a broken home, two alcoholic parents. I'm trying to be a dad who honors Christ within 43 years now, three sons, six grandkids. And God called us when we got married 43 years ago, change the legacy.

I'm going to use you to change the Wilson name from adultery and alcohol to a godly legacy. We haven't done that perfectly, but when she sang and your family and your children and their children, I'm just weeping. And it was an emotional moment because it was based on truth. That song moves me. Does it?

It honestly does. And I think it's part of that, about thinking about God's goodness from generation to generation, reminding me of His faithfulness, which is such a balm. If you are a skeptical person, He's still faithful to me. Oh, that's good. And you're aware of your own sin and brokenness.

He's so good. Also, it shifts to this, ah. Oh, I was going to do that. We could do it. We could sing the harmony. That's an interesting progression.

So that kind of surprises you the first time you hear it too, but it makes sense. And we're all saying, so be it. Yeah. Amen. You feel like we're all saying that.

So there's a lot of goosebumps going on. And I hate to deconstruct everything and take the magic out of it, but it's not. It doesn't. I want us to know why we feel this way. And I honestly think that's it. It's this, we recognize certain elements of heaven. We can't imagine it fully. There's colors we haven't seen yet. There's songs we can't imagine.

There's notes that we haven't hit. But we're going to. And maybe we even speak in music. We're not even speaking English, right? We're not even speaking Spanish.

We're not speaking Latin. Maybe we speak in music. We all can. And there's little hints of it that we get. I feel glad, and I feel blessed, that we can talk about doubt, struggle, feeling like a misfit on this program. Me too. I mean, honestly, it's a Christian talk show that you think you can't express doubt and struggle.

That's real. We've got to sort of live up here rather than, ah, this is where a lot of us struggle. I'm just glad we get to do that. And I want to thank our partners for supporting this ministry to allow us to do this kind of thing. This is unique to what you both do. What you do is so refreshing because the culture is so desperate for this. Who else is talking about hope like that? We were just talking about this. We're people who struggle. Anybody who's listening is like, that's me too.

And yet God is good. In this culture, to have some sort of a peace, a non-anxious reminder that's not frenetic, it's not banging against the wall somehow and making you mad, actually just telling you again what the big picture is. This is worth keeping. I'm very glad that you shape it this way, both of you, and that we've got this thing going. So whoever's listening, if you are supporting this, I personally thank you for being part of it. Yeah, we thank you, Brent, for driving up here. I literally could say, any week you want to come, you just come.

I don't care if you riddle, bokeh, nut. We are going to talk with you about things. And I will say this, if you want to give, it's matched in this month of December.

Your gift is doubled. So we need you to become part of our family and our partner. And this is why we get to do what we do because people like you say, I'm in. And sometimes that's emotional. Sometimes that's not emotional at all.

It's just the right thing to do because I believe in it and I'm going to write a check or make a donation digitally and change the world and change the legacy. I'm glad you said that about the emotion thing because I have found, and I know this is generally true from what I've read, a lot of times we do wait for that emotional moment, then I'll give, then I'll be generous. But don't do that.

Just do it. What's weird is your emotions will follow your actions. Just like marriage. Yes, right.

So it's the same thing with generosity. Instead of waiting for this lightning strike, no, just do it because it's the right thing. And then watch your heart follow that. You can actually train your heart.

So maybe it's a priority for you. I want people to know about hope. So instead of waiting for that emotion, like, no, I believe in this. This is what people need to hear.

I need to hear it. Then maybe just act on that and then see if your heart didn't just follow along. I once heard a pastor say that forgiveness is often granted before it's felt, and it's just true. It's certainly been true in my life.

But that's what came to mind as I heard Brant talking just a second ago. Your heart follows your actions. And we'd love for you to join us in this ministry by becoming a monthly partner and experiencing the joy of what God is doing through Family Life Today. So you can go online to and click on the donate now button at the top of the page. And when you do, as our thanks to you, we're going to send you a copy of Trillia Newbell's 52 Weeks in the Word. With the start of the new year coming up, it's a great time to renew your commitment to getting into the Scriptures. And this book is going to help you do just that. So again, you can go online to, click on the donate now button at the top of the page, or you can give us a call with your donation at 800-358-6329.

Again, that number is 800, F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. I'm Shelby Abbott, by the way, and you've been listening to David Ann Wilson with Brant Hansen on Family Life Today. You know, Brant has written a book called Blessed Are the Misfits. Are you an introvert who feels like you just don't fit into church sometimes? You know, many congregations seem designed really for the outgoing people.

But what about those who aren't outgoing? Well, Brant offers observations on emotionally biased assumptions about worship and spiritual life in this book. And you can get a copy of his book by going to and clicking on today's resources. And coming up tomorrow, many introverts often feel like they just don't fit into American church culture.

And Brant Hansen is one of those people. He's back again tomorrow with David Ann Wilson to talk about that and what it feels like to be a misfit in the Christian environment. That's tomorrow. We hope you'll join us. On behalf of David Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a donor-supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-21 06:45:39 / 2023-12-21 06:57:42 / 12

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