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October 18, 2015

When You’re A Winner, Do You Act Like A Loser? My Night at the Dove Awards

I'm not the type of blogger that writes controversially to gain followers.  I’m also never going to personally attack IMG_1781someone that I disagree with, which many people use their online platform to do.  My heart is always to point people to what’s right about the world, not what’s wrong—writing to bring healing and not more pain, reconciliation and not division…..always.

So in the spirit of reconciliation and healing, let me shed light on a Christian ideology that I used to have personally, but definitely don’t anymore.  After burying my daughter Goldie this past year, the agony of death pulled me in deeper into the arms of God than ever before.  And as I listened to His heart moment by moment, I was astounded to hear this truth…..

God’s love had such a priceless value sticker on me, that eventually, I had to start valuing myself as highly as He did.

 

IMG_1769Earlier this week, the hubs and I went to the Dove Awards to celebrate my nomination as a songwriter for Kari Jobe’s worship song, Forever.  And though I usually avoid places that require me to wear heels for hours on end, I thought it would be fun to go since the song had done well and had a good chance of winning.

Because I’m rolling on small amounts of sleep as a mom of a newborn, everything was thrown together last minute.  I borrowed a dress that afternoon, texted a picture of it to my female pastor to make sure it wasn’t too short for Jesus, pulled out an old pair of 14-year old Prada shoes I’d never had the chance to wear, shaved my legs and removed old bits of pink toenail polish ten minutes before running out the door.  Though everything was pulled together in a frantic rush, I ended up looking like I’d actually tried.  I stepped out of the car that night holding the hand of my Studhubs, feeling like a million bucks and anticipating a special night.

IMG_1758Luke and I were ushered to our seats down front with all the nominees, artists, producers, and songwriters.  And as the night kicked off with bright lights and amazing performances, the stage was filled with presenters who came out regularly to open up white envelopes and call out winners.  After about the sixth acceptance speech, I leaned over to my husband with a concerned look, whispering an observation.

“Babe,” I said low enough so no one could hear.  “Isn’t it sad that a lot of Christians think that in order to be humble, they have to devalue themselves and talk about how unworthy they are?”

As award winners took the podium to receive praises and accolades from their peers and fans, there were some that seemed to try and honor God by dishonoring themselves.  As the theme of unworthiness developed, it absolutely broke my blood-bought, worthy heart.

 

We are unworthy of this award, because only God is worthy.

We need to deflect glory and not receive any glory for our hard work.

This music isn’t about us—it can only be about God.

We shouldn’t act like we’re excited about winning because it might make us look prideful.

We’re so dirty, how can we possibly worship a pure God?

 

Years ago, I stood in front of one of my favorite musicians and let them know their album rescued me out of a very dark season.  And I’ll never forget their response: “Well, thank you.  But it was all God.”

To which, I wanted to reply, “I mean, it was good….but it wasn’t THAT good!”

 

A lie has permeated our churches, it seems, creeping its way into our Christian culture.  When we write, speak, and sing from the standpoint of who we used to be, and not as we are in Christ, we devalue the cross.  When we refuse to see ourselves as God sees us, not only do we dishonor Him, we also dishonor the blood that was shed to change us.

 

HERE’S A FEW TRUTHS THAT I WILL NEVER AGAIN DENY:

I am not unworthy anymore—I’M WORTHY!  (Eph 2:4-9)

I am not unrighteous anymore—I’M RIGHTEOUS!  (Romans 3:22)

I don’t have a sin nature anymore—IT’S BEEN CRUCIFIED!  (Gal 2:20)

I am not dirty anymore—I’M CLEAN!  (Hebrews 9:14)

I am not unholy anymore—I’M HOLY!  (Hebrews 10:10)

I am not impure anymore—I’M PURE!  (Hebrews 5:27)

 

Over the past year as I’ve run hard into intimacy, God has been blowing up a few old religious mindsets—especially the ones that devalue me as a person.  For years I thought God was a bit of a narcissist tyrant, making sure I stayed humble as He commanded my nose to bow in the dirt, pushing all pride out of me while I viewed myself as an ugly worm.

But then, I learned to hear the voice of Jesus.

And the absolutely mind-blowing thing about my Savior is….when I bow down low, He lifts up my head.  When I throw down the crowns I receive, He puts them back on my head.  And as I humble myself before God, He lifts me up….many times in front of people.

I refuse to view myself as unworthy when I’ve been adopted as a coheir with Christ.  I refuse to serve God as a slave when I can approach Him as a child of God.  I refuse to view my hands as unclean when they’ve been purified with perfect blood.

And I refuse to call myself a sinner when I’m now the righteous of God in Christ Jesus—even when I forget this truth and sin.  (2 Cor 5:21)

 

Friend, every one of us behaves according to what we believe.  And for years, because I believed that I was a sinner, shameful and unworthy….you’d better believe I acted that way.  But as I started leaning my head against the heart of my Father and hearing what He had to say about me, shifting my focus from my unrighteous behaviors to the worth I have in Christ….a miracle happened.

I started seeing myself as God sees me.

And no matter what I do….He still sees me in Christ.

He sees me as a new creation.

He sees that the old has passed away, and the new has come.

He sees me through the blood—even when I don’t act that way.

 

 

IMG_1791-2Did I want to win ‘Worship Song of the Year' the other night at the Dove Awards?  You better believe I did, and I would have jumped up and cheered in an uncool manner, excited that a song I helped write was recognized as a gift to the body of Christ!  Let me tell you why I would have been so excited.

THE SPIRITUAL ANSWER:  Because as a daughter of the King, one who knows that she's worthy, redeemed, righteous, and holy….I BURN to write material from this perspective and shift the orphan mindset in the church to an identity as sons.  I want to teach the body of Christ to crawl out from under the mountain of shame we've placed on ourselves, striving to earn Father's love and affection, and learn to approach the throne of grace with boldness and confidence.  My boast as a believer is not in what I've done….but in what CHRIST has done in me–and I'm really, really confident in who He is.  I want the whole world to sing out to their Father as sons and daughters, not as slaves….as worthy children, not as unworthy wretches…..as the pure and spotless bride!

THE UNSPIRITUAL ANSWER:  Because I've always dreamed of winning a Dove Award and a Grammy—have chatted with Jesus about it—and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that dream!

 

OPEN HEART SURGERY:

Alright, it's your turn.  Let's do a bit of a heart check.

Say you receive an award for something you had worked hard on, and you were really proud of the work you produced.

-Would you feel the need to play down your role in the process in order to appear humble?

-Do you feel uncomfortable when you receive applause or encouragement from others?

-Or on the other side of the spectrum, maybe you crave approval and achievement, needing validation to feel good about yourself?

Take a moment and ask your heart these questions, being deeply honest.

 

On the outside, those who push aside applause can appear as if they're doing something right, and those who are competitively arrogant can appear prideful.  But the thing is….

BOTH extremes can point to a value issue in the heart. 

 

I don't need to win a Dove Award to increase my value.  I'm more grounded in the love Father than ever before, and will only grow in that identity.  But because I'm a ‘words of encouragement' girl, I love it when people come up to me and tell me that they love a song I've written, a book, blog, or sermon.  I hug them and genuinely say ‘thank you,' letting them know how much it means to me that they recognize the sacrifice I've made.  I don't try to appear falsely humble, acting like I don't care or pretend that only God created the work–knowing that as a mini creator made in His image, we co-created it together!  It makes me feel connected to those who encourage me along the way, inspiring my heart to keep producing more materials that lead people into the heart of God.

And then, as I learned from my pastor Bill Johnson, when I'm alone before Father, I lift my hands and release the glory I've received…thanking Him for giving me the talent and ability to do what I love.

 

Take a few moments today and ask your heart this question….HEART, what do you believe that you're worth?

If the answer isn't…as worthy as Christ….then take some time to immerse yourself in the promises of God, reading aloud what He thinks about you.

I promise you.  The more you hear about how crazy He is about you, the more you will begin to think like He does.

And He thinks you're worth dying for.

 

xx,

Signature CBG

37 Responses to “When You’re A Winner, Do You Act Like A Loser? My Night at the Dove Awards”

  1. Juanelle Venter

    Yup! Needed this. For years I have been trying to be perfectly humble, but inside I have craved that same encouragement, that you speak about. And then when I receive a slither of it from anyone I would play it down to exactly that, unworthiness to take the credit.
    I found your blogs after watching you on a worshipu video, your absolute rawness made me connect. I have been writing songs for 6 years, but feel as if I am not worthy when trying to release them to my team. I have recently received a songwriting contract, but again felt it not the right thing to do as it was a secular company, when someone walks up to me after I worship in church on stage and says they heard me again like an angel, I feel dissapointed in myself for having flesh thoughts of gratefullness for the encouragement and ask God forgiveness! Wow Christa you hit a nerve!
    I am so desperate for someone to tell me I am on the right path with these songs, to help me grow, to give me advise on my blog http://www.gods-plan.com but it seems so hard to get it out there withiout seeming prideful about my actual dream….. to be able to help people connect with this amazing Father that we have, to be able to share this peace He has given me through the toughest thing anyone can go through in my eyes, the loss of a loved one. The loss of my sister and best friend a year and a half ago to cancer.
    Sory for all this writing, I realise this should only be a comment , so I will end with this. I am proud of the woman you are and what you have accomplished and the Glory you give to God. So thank you for your blog, thank you for your inspiration and I pray one day that I will find a mentour like you to help me on my way in in achieving this dream. God bless you. JUANELLE from South Africa

  2. Susie Mehlig

    Thank you so much for all that you share. It is always so easy to relate to and very helpful. I thank you for being so honest and transparent. Thank you for all the “amazing, wonderful, KINGDOM songs you write. They’re such an inspiration and so are your blogs!!

  3. Colette Platts

    The song Forever is one of my Favorite !! I so wanted it to win also!! Thanks for the Honesty. I sometimes have to stop and remember all God has done for me. Thanks for this Song and keep writing!!! It does bless others!

  4. Beautifully said, Christa! Knowing who we are – the woman or man God created us to be – equals freedom. When we walk in the freedom of our true identity we ARE being conformed to the image of Jesus. It is not about pride but rather the assurance of stepping into the person God designed us to be from the very beginning. Thank You, Christa! You’re a winner all around!

  5. Wow!!!!! Thanks for sharing this!!!!! I just returned from a week long intensive with Rita Springer, where we spent alot of time talking about our value, seeing ourselves as God sees us etc. This word is so full of Truth!!!

  6. Bruce & Ally Charest

    Great post, thank you so much! I’m saving these verses and praying them out loud. Just curious, what verse did you mean for ‘I’m pure!’ truth? Thanks again and many blessings to you as you share the truth of His love and who we really are in Him!

      • Ally Charest

        No worries. Maybe 1 John 1:7? I wrote the verses down to pray over them and remind myself of the truth each time the enemy attacks. Thanks again for this timely and wonderful article. A friend of mine, Jaynee (Mitchell) Brown shared it with me and I’m so thankful she did. Your baby girl is adorable! Praying and trusting God will pour out His Spirit and anoint her for His good plan for her life. God’s blessings to you, your family and ministry!

  7. Natacha Ramos

    “HEART, what do you believe that you’re worth?”

    What a question! I’ll give it some thinking time.

    Just out of curiosity: what would you say a good winning speech must look like?

  8. LeslieLinehan

    Hahaha. ..”is this dress too short for Jesus?” Christa, you crack me up! =) I completely agree with you on this. I, for one, believe that being humble is good and honorable, but when you devalue what you’ve done, you are devaluing what Christ has done through you! Giving gratitude to God for what He has done for and through you is the right thing to do. Being disappointed you didn’t win something you worked really hard for is to be expected. I haven’t heard your song yet. ..but I’m going to download it when I’m home! I am in Mexico and brought God Loves Ugly with me to read…and your recommendation of Eve also =). Thank you for sharing your heart Christa! Btw…you looked GORGEOUS girl!!

  9. Grace Lin

    I love this Christa!! Thanks for sharing your heart! You inspire me so much as a songwriter and I’m excited for the immeasurably more God has in store for your writing career! 🙂

  10. Dewey Compton

    I recently saw Antman the movie. I love how the Spirit speaks to me through movies. It’s about a guy who is struggling to break free from his past life of crime and do the right thing and be a good dad. He has an encounter with his exwife and shares his struggle of trying to get a job and do right. She says to him, “Just be the hero your daughter thinks you are.” The holy Spirit nudged me, “Take note for later.” As later happened, I was laying in bed thinking about that. It matters NOT what we think of ourself, but what our Father thinks of us and then I thought this: I just need to be the son my Father thinks I am. How would our lives change is we focused on obeying our Papa’s view of us instead of what we think of ourselves?

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“I had planned to end my life, but chose to give it one last shot and signed up for the Master Heart Course. I finally found what I was looking for. My life has changed in ways I could never could put into words, being healed far beyond what I could imagine. I have a long way to go, but this course literally saved my life..”

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