Every significant life event, every birthday was a reminder that I didn’t fit in… It’s as if God had enrolled me in boot camp and I wasn’t even aware of it.
From the ashes of tragedies the Gospel arises. From the pit of death there is resurrection and from a culture which breeds hopelessness we see the Gospel miracle of hope. Un-Ashamed is Lecrae’s redemption story in which he opens up the door to his heart and soul and stands unashamed. Lecrae doesn’t stand unashamed because of past tragedies or past failures because there are plenty of those. He stands unashamed in the tragedies and failures of life because he was chosen by Christ who was unashamed to save him.
When many of us here the name Lecrae, we most likely think of Rebel, I’m A Saint or Praying for You. We think of his music. Lecrae popped on the scene of the Christian hip hop industry and produced music many have never heard before, lyrical theology, his music spread like a wildfire. But many of us don’t know his story, in Un-Ashamed Lecrae describes for us what life was like growing up Lecrae. Lecrae opens up with us about his daddy issues. Growing up fatherless left an emptiness and became a gateway to a longing which was filled with various other “father figures”. He talks about the father figures like his gang banging uncle and popular hip hop artist.
Underneath all my pain and misbehavior was a sense of emptiness… the hole left by my father’s absence throbbed constantly, like an opened wound that refused to scab over.
One of the most refreshing aspects of the book is Lecrae’s transparency. He opens his life story sharing on issues of sexual abuse, alcohol, drugs, abortion, self righteousness, pride and more. With each turning page we dig deeper into a heart of a man who was searching his way through life trying to fill a void.We learn of his conversion and his fall into rehab and his journey to fulfill the calling the Lord has placed on him today.
One of the most impacting and thought provoking parts of the book for me is when Lecrae talks about living a fragmented life. For Lecrae, the fragmented life started when he was young child who loved the arts. But being in the inner city, the arts was looked down upon as being soft. As a result Lecrae learned to live by one set of rules with his artistic friends and another set of rules on the streets. The fragmented life stayed with him into adulthood, acting one way with Christians and another way with non-Christians. Working with youth and college kids I see the fragmented life played out everyday, almost as if it is normal.
We fool ourselves into thinking that when we’re “born again” we come out of the womb walking. But spiritual infants are like physical infants. When a child begins to learn how to walk, they fall a lot.
Un-Ashamed is the memoirs of Lecrae, but honestly it could’ve been mine or millions of other people who grew up or are growing up in the same culture. The question is as Christ followers what should we do? First, read Un-Ashamed because it is an eye into the culture around us. This book is written in such away that Lecrae tells you what he was thinking and feeling throughout his life. As I read, I realized I could identify with him. You will run into people like Lecrae in life, experiencing the struggles in life he experienced. Un-Ashamed helps you see life through their eyes. Second, if you are a pastor in the inner city or urban America and you sit back and wonder why aren’t they coming to your church, read this book. Many can’t even make sense of hearing from a man in a suit and tie, preaching of a God who loves them while experiencing life’s struggles. Third, if you want to understand the direction Lecrae is moving in with his life and ministry, read this book. Fourth, if you want to read a great redemption story, read Un-Ashamed.
Until Next Time
Soli Deo Gloria
I received this book for free from B&H and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”