The Truth About Shame and Blessings, Part Two

Pastor Alan Wright has a deep passion for helping others find freedom from shame and experience true blessings from God. We talked about it on a recent episode of The Dunham Podcast.

Here is the second part of our conversation:

Trent: You talk often about the power of a blessing. Unpack for us the basic concept of what a real blessing is.

Alan: This has become a life message for me!

In the beginning, when God made Adam and Eve, before He authorized them to have dominion in the earth and to be productive, He blessed them. He profoundly affirmed who they were. With that affirmation He was releasing them into a destiny by expressing faith over what they were created to be.

Shame withholds acceptance until you’ve proven yourself. Blessing is the modus operandi of God, and it’s the exact opposite. The world says, “If you do well, then you’ll be blessed.”

But God does just the opposite. He blesses and says “Now, because you’re blessed, you can do well.”

Most people think if you tell people how accepted they are and what a wonderful destiny they have, they’re not going to try very hard. It’s as if you have to withhold something.

In other words, if you’re not going to shame, guilt, or manipulate people, how are you going to help them become all that God has designed them to be? I think it is the power of blessing. And there are examples of this all throughout the Old and New Testament.

My book, The Power to Bless, gives a glimpse of what is so powerful about a blessing. In one sense, it’s the whole story of the Bible.

Certainly, this is a pivotal imperative in the Christian life.

Trent: Alan, you talk about the power of a blessing. Tell us how you’ve implemented that in your own family.

Alan: My son Bennett was a good golfer around the age of 10. But one day, he went out and made a triple bogey on the first hole. If you’re a golfer and you have a bad first hole, you feel like you’ve blown the whole round and it’s tough to bring it together.

I saw his face get a little red. He wanted to throw a club or something, but he didn’t. He pulled it together, and he played a really good round.

We were riding home and I said, “Bennett, I saw that today and I know it was frustrating. But instead of getting really flustered about it, you pulled yourself together, you kept your cool, and you played a really good round.  

There’s a word for that from the Scripture. It’s called self-control. I notice that already at your young age, you have a lot of self-control. I think you’re going to grow into a young man who has a lot of self-control, and my experience in life is that people with self-control go far in this world.”

This took all of about 30 seconds. Too often, we don’t take the time to bless.

So we try to fill our home with these blessings and it’s almost like osmosis. It goes into the child and it becomes part of them.

Now Bennett is in his third year at Duke Law School and there, your final exam is your whole grade. You study all the time, reading six to seven hours a day. Then you take a final exam, most of which are eight hours long.

One day, he showed me his chart. He said, “I plan out how much I’m going to study each day, because of how much each course is going to require.”

In this stage of life, self-control is crucial because everyone else in the dorm is out playing a video game or in the Quad, while you have to sit there studying physics.

Who’s to say that doesn’t trace back to a golf course moment…

Where a dad said to his son, “I think you’re going to be a young man of self-control.”

With a blessing, we are painting a picture of who that person can be, who they are destined to be.

Trent: Over the past year or so, we’ve been working on repositioning your broadcast ministry, and as we’ve looked at the branding, we’ve asked ourselves, “How do we bring clarity to what people are going to expect when they engage with this ministry, and what’s our unique position in the marketplace?”

The two concepts of shame and blessing are clear differentiators of what someone can expect when they engage with Alan Wright Ministries. It’s been our privilege to help take away some of the inhibitors to people really seeing that. Your ministry is a conduit to what Scripture says and what Jesus wants us to know about His relationship to us.

Alan: Yes, and I believe every ministry is entrusted with particular facets of the revelation of the gospel. So often, they are the places that intersect with your own life. And after you’ve been in the ministry as long as I have, there’s often a proven pathway.

I want everyone to know that grace has a voice, and that you can speak life and empower the people you love. We’re not left helpless in that. God invites us into all kinds of partnerships. He invites us to partner with Him in prayer and in a great co-mission to share the gospel.

I think this is another one of those incredible parts of the fabric of the daily Christian life. We partner with God to bless people. It releases real transformational power to our lives, and anyone can do this!

To hear more of this conversation, listen in on The Dunham Podcast episode “The Truth About Shame and Blessings”.

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