Have you felt that if your book doesn’t become a bestseller, you are a failure? Do you feel like you’re not enough?
In this episode of our Breakthrough series, CJ and I are going to help you as Kingdom Writers overcome this obstacle of shame. What makes this series different than most training for writers is that we integrate the powerful combination of Scripture and prayer to help you breakthrough the obstacles holding you back.
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Notes from this episode:
- Psalm 34:5 NLT Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
- Shame says, “I’m not good enough.”
- Brene Brown says “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. It’s the fear that something we’ve done or failed to do, an idea that we’ve not lived up to, or a goal that we’ve not accomplished makes us unworthy of connection. ‘I’m not worthy or good enough for love, belonging, or connection. I’m unlovable. I don’t belong.’”
- She also says “Shame is a focus on self, guilt is a focus on behavior. Shame says, ‘I am bad.’ Guilt says, ‘I did something bad.’ Guilt: ‘I’m sorry. I made a mistake.’ Shame: ‘I’m sorry. I am a mistake.’”
- The truth is that God already approves of you. In Christ, we have already passed the test.
- “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
- How’s that for optimism!
- “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
- Shame came into the world when Adam and Eve sinned. They hid.
- Sharing your writing is such a vulnerable thing that if we have any shame we will tend to hide.
- As I was writing my Broken Crayons Still Color book with my beta group, I realized it wasn’t just about me and telling my story but helping others heal from shame so they could be set free to share their stories. Many times your mistakes and regrets from the past are what God uses the most.
- That’s why I started a podcast to share other people’s stories. Some of the women interviewed on my podcast told their story publicly for the very first time. Our testimony is powerful and the enemy wants to keep us quiet.
- My friend used to say when you’re in the middle of it, it’s moany. That’s when you don’t need to share except with a few trusted people. Once you’re healed and set free and on the other side of it then it’s a testimony and an opportunity to share what Jesus has done in your life.
- My life verse is Isaiah 61:1 (NIV) “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,”
- Mold grows best in the darkness and so does shame.
- Brene Brown says change “starts with, ‘let me share my story with one person, let me find one person in my life who has a capacity to hear my story and be with me in it.’ Shame cannot survive being spoken. It cannot tolerate having words wrapped around it. What it craves is secrecy, silence, and judgment. If you stay quiet, you stay in a lot of self-judgment.”
- But when you bring the mold to the light it begins to die. And the same happens with shame.
- When we used to speak in Christian schools on the topic of sex we have people tell us we didn’t need to be discussing it. Yet the kids always thanked us for talking about it. We did it in a way that was respectful but honest. I think the teachers and administrators that criticized us didn’t want us talking about it because they still had their own unresolved issues around sex. They probably still had shame related to it. That’s why it’s so important to first deal with our own issues.
- The answer is found in intimacy with Christ.
- Knowing we are loved changes everything. We don’t have anything to prove.
- We live in a culture obsessed with self. YouTube’s tagline is broadcast yourself. Social media is filled with selfies.
- What if we put our focus on God’s love for us instead of focusing on ourselves? What if we found our identity and worth in Him alone? How would that impact our writing? I think it would cause us to write from a deep place that can then have a ripple effect for generations.
- The story of Dominic Voillaume
- Brennan Manning shares the story of Dominique Voillaume in his book “The Signature of Jesus” and says that this man “influenced his life as few people ever have.” Dominique Voillaume was a man who lived in the community of the Little Brothers of Jesus in France and served the poor. He eventually moved to Paris to an extremely poor neighborhood, took a job as a night watchman in a factory and when he got up in the morning he went to sit on a park bench where the disillusioned and disenfranchised, the addicts and the homeless, those who had been marginalized by society because they had nothing usually hung out. Manning says, “he never criticized, scolded or reprimanded them…he just laughed, told stories, shared his candy and accepted them as they were.” He goes on to say, “His simple witness lay in accepting others as they were without questions and allowing them to make themselves at home in his heart.”
- At the age of 54, he was diagnosed with cancer and one day he was found “dead on the floor of his cold-water flat…in a Parisian slum.” He kept a journal and this, according to Manning, was his last entry:
- ”All that is not the love of God has no meaning for me. I can truly say that I have no interest in anything but the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. If God wants it to, my life will be useful through my word and witness. If he wants it to, my life will bear fruit through my prayers and sacrifices. But the usefulness of my life is his concern, not mine. It would be indecent of me to worry about that.”
- Dominique Voillaume was buried, simply, in the backyard of the Little Brothers’ house in Saint-Remy, France. Manning writes, “More than 7,000 people gathered…to attend his funeral.”
- As believers, we have been set free from shame. Christ has set us free. Let’s live and write in that freedom.
- You were made for freedom.
Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)
Psalm 34:5 NLT “Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”
Brene Brown on shame:
Definition of shame: https://lifehacker.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-shame-and-guilt-1653163759
Signature of Jesus by Brennan Manning: https://www.amazon.com/Signature-Jesus-Marked-Passion-Relentless/dp/1590523504
Prayer for Healing of Shame
Transcript of the prayer:
So, we’re moving down the home stretch and as we mentioned, we’ve got 15 obstacles to pray through. Thank you for hanging in here with us.
We’re now on the eleventh obstacle where we want a breakthrough in the area of shame. What we mean by that is if my book doesn’t become a bestseller, I’m a failure. We start saying I am a failure in our writing.
Again, another city you don’t want to visit very long is that city of shame. Romans 8:1 says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Lord, we ask that you would free us from the bondage of shame. We come against shame in Jesus’ name. And we proclaim the truth that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We have been set free, footloose and fancy-free, and we don’t have shame that we’re chained to like a dog chained up in the backyard.
Lord, I pray that you bring freedom. Let freedom ring in the lives of every single Christian writer proclaiming your message and glorifying you.
And we also pray in the spirit of Proverbs 24:16 which says, “The Godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.”
Lord, we claim the truth that we are part of the godly in Christ Jesus. We are those people who can rise up over and over again with your help, with your strength as you’re reaching your hand down, saying, ‘come on son, come on daughter, get back in the race. We’re not finished yet.’
And I pray that shame would just fall off of each and every one of us who endeavor to write. That we wouldn’t wallow in any kind of failure or any sense of shame. We thank you, Lord, that we are no longer condemned and we stand clean as blood-bought citizens of heaven. We thank you, Lord, for that truth.
I feel like some of you have been breathing in toxic air and it’s time to get out into the woods, into nature and start breathing in that fresh air again. God is the one who gives you your identity. He gives us freedom from shame.
I also got this picture that you if my book doesn’t become a bestseller, I’m a failure. God calls us to is obedience. Success is obedience. I also got this picture of when I was a physical therapist, I worked in that career for 12 years before we started our own business full time in 2011. I still got paid if I showed up for work even no patients came.
If it’s a retail store and you come to work and nobody shows up, you still get paid because you showed up. If it’s a restaurant, you may not get as many tips, but you still get your pay. And God was just showing me the issue right now is that we show up and leave the results to God.
We are to release the need for a certain result. We’re obedient to do the work that he’s called us to do and to leave the results to him. And so, I pray this over each person listening in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Free Download: 15 Prayers for Christian Writers
Download the PDF transcript of all 15 Prayers for Christian Writers, here:
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