Mere Christians

Christy Wright (Host of the Get Your Hopes Up Podcast)

Episode Summary

How to obey without knowing why

Episode Notes

How to honor employers you leave, how feelings of inadequacy often mask an arrogance toward God, and how to obey God when you have no idea what his purposes are.

Links Mentioned:

Episode Transcription

[0:00:05] JR: Hey friend, welcome to the Mere Christians Podcast, I’m Jordan Raynor. How does the gospel influence the work of mere Christians, those of us who aren’t pastors or religious professionals, but who work as court reporters, X-ray technicians, and program directors? That’s the question we explore every week and today, I’m posing it to my friend, Christy Wright. She's the number one bestselling author of Business Boutique and Take Back Your Time, who spent 12 years on Dave Ramsey's team as a personality speaking on behalf of the company.


Christie and I recently sat down to discuss how you and I can honor employers that we leave, how our feelings of inadequacy in our work often mask an arrogance towards God. We also talked about how to obey God, when we have absolutely no idea what his purposes are for our obedience. Trust me, you're not going to want to miss this episode with my friend, Christy.




[0:01:13] JR: Christy Wright, welcome to the Mere Christians Podcast.


[0:01:16] CW: Thanks for having me. It's good to be back. I feel like we're old friends, so this is fun to be back again.


[0:01:19] JR: It's amazing. Hey, so most people know you from these what, you spent 12 years on Dave Ramsey's team?


[0:01:26] CW: Yes.


[0:01:26] JR: As a personality speaking on behalf of the company. I don't remember the story here. How did you get on the personality team?


[0:01:32] CW: Oh, it's a crazy story. Okay. I'll try to make it brief, because I know that's not the total topic today. But it's a good one. It's a good one. So, I started working for Dave in the fall of 2009, as a project manager. Youth Project Coordinator, I think was my title. So, I managed all of the kids Bible studies, books, DVDs, piggy banks, all the stuff. I'd come from the YMCA, from non-profit and so on.


So, in the spring of 2010, his daughter, Rachel Cruze, is a senior in college. She's going to graduate in May and she's going to come on board on the team and be the face of the youth and teens. Now, if you go back there in your mind, there were no personalities, no authors.


[0:02:09] JR: Yes. That wasn’t a thing.


[0:02:10] CW: Yes. There was about 200 people in the company. Dave was the only speaker, face, brand, et cetera. So, she's going to come on board. So, someone in my department had worked out this deal with the move conference, for anybody that's familiar with this. I don't know if it's still around. But it's put on by Christ and Youth and they put conferences on in the summer at small colleges all over the United States.


So, they worked out this deal where Rachel is going to graduate college, move home to Nashville, come on board our team as the face of the youth and teens, and she's going to go speak at these conferences, to like, get the word out there about our Bible studies. Okay. It's going to be great practice for her as a speaker and she's going to speak 20 different times, at 20 different conferences, all over the country to a thousand students each. Great exposure and practice for her. They get a speaker, yada, yada, yada.


Well, somewhere in this spring, this whole deal gets handed off to me. I didn't set it up, but I became the liaison between us and the conference. So, I'm managing the relationship two weeks before she's supposed to go on the road. We get the travel schedule, and it is the worst flights imaginable. You had two in three connections, Jordan. You're going to New York to California to get to Texas. You're in an airport 18 hours a day. I'm not exaggerating here. Then, you would get in a church van, drive two hours to the small college, speak for an hour, get back in a church van, stay in a dorm, do the whole thing again the next day.


Okay. So, I have to go to Dave Ramsey, our CEO and her dad, and get this whole thing approved. And he's like, “No.”


[0:03:41] JR: This is insane.


[0:03:40] CW: This is insane. He was like, “No one should do this.” He said, “She's not doing it. This is more than we agreed to. She can do half of the dates. She can do 10. They can pick which 10, but she's not doing this.” So, I have to go back to the conference, Jordan. I'm 26 years old, I think at the time. I've been at the company six months. I don't even know what I'm doing yet in my role, in my job, and I have to go back to the conference and tell them two weeks before the conference starts that she's not doing all of them. She's only doing half.


So, you know me by now, I'm kind of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. I'm like, “I haven't thought this to all things through. But I'm just going to deliver the bad news and see what happens.” I get on the phone and I remember the guy's name, his name is Chase, and I have to let him know this. I said, “I'm so sorry. This is more than we agreed to. We're not going to do this. She can do 10 of the events. Now, you can pick the 10. You're welcome. You can pick, but she's not doing all 20. I'm so sorry.”


He said to me, “Christy, I don't have her booked for 10 keynote presentations. I have her booked for 20. What am I going to do for the other 10?” I said, “I'll do them.” He said, “Can you speak?” I said, “I think so.” Jordan, I've never spoken – I never had been on a stage in my life. I did not ask permission. I did not audition. I did not get any approvals whatsoever for this.


Then, jumping ahead, I go on the road that summer and actually went to every single event. I went to Rachel's events and ran IV and carried her props. Then, I would go to the next city and actually deliver the keynote. That goes on all summer. I did a great job. I do tend to have a natural gift of speaking. That fall, our company identified a need for more speakers because Dave was turning down 3,000 requests a year for speaking events. Obviously, they saw an opportunity. They created, at the time, what was known as the Lampo Speakers Group. It was five men and two women, me and Rachel Cruze. They just slid me into that group. What's wild, most people don't know is, I continue to speak “on the side for four years”. So, I was a project manager for four years while speaking nights and weekends at outside speaking events. Then, that eventually became the full-time thing of a personality.


[0:05:46] JR: All because you're freaking out on the phone with Chase.


[0:05:48] CW: All because I just make stuff up all the time.


[0:05:52] JR: It’s like, “Oh, yes. Yes, I got this.”


[0:05:54] CW: Here's a really key takeaway. Okay, I don't want to miss this. Because I know your listeners are going, “How can I learn from this?” Here's a key takeaway, especially for your female listeners. What changed the trajectory of my life? Very literally, Jordan, in that conversation, was I said yes before I knew how. I said yes to an opportunity before I knew how to do it and I learned by doing it. Research shows that so often women will not apply for jobs until they have 100% of the qualifications, or go for something until they're sure they can do it. Whereas men often apply for a job if they have 60% of the qualifications or take on big projects, big clients before they know how. There's a great lesson in this. You will learn the most by doing. So, say yes, before you know how. You will learn how while you're doing it. That's what I did and it truly changed the trajectory of my life.


[0:06:40] JR: It's good. I love it. It's a great takeaway. All right. So fast forward, January 2022. You announced you're leaving the Ramsey team, and I know this because you and I've talked one-on-one about this before. I know this was not an easy decision. You kind of had this dream job. What happened? What's the short version of the story of why you decided to leave?


[0:07:00] CW: Well, the short version is, God told me and it felt very much like whiplash to me. It was the fall of 2021. It was in November. I'd had the greatest year I'd ever had at Ramsey. Okay, so all the seeds had been planting, I was starting to harvest. All the work I had created was starting to really compound where I had multiple books, multiple products, multiple services, multiple brands, events, coaching. It was really compounding. So, I'm making a huge impact in the marketplace and making great money financially. The security was just the best it had ever been in my entire 12 years, because it all had started to build up over time.


This is November of that year. I am a veteran of the organization. I know so many people. They know me. I'm just like this pillar, because I've been there so long, and I literally grew up there. So, in the middle of that context, greatest year, feeling good, everything's secure. God tells me in November of that year, that I am called to leave. My season is up. It's time to leave. When I tell you that I was shocked and terrified, I can't even paint the picture for you. Because it was so alarming. It wasn't like, “Oh, yes. My season had been up three years ago. Things we parted ways. I had different dreams. Different goals. Things were bad.” No, it was literally at the peak of my career, is when God said, “Hey, drop your nets. Drop your nets and follow me.”


And I think as Christians, we read stories like that of leave everything to Abraham, leave everything. Leave your nets –


[0:08:29] JR: Not knowing where you're going.


[0:08:30] CW: Not knowing where you're going. We read that and we go, “Yes. I would totally do that, Lord.” Then, in real life, Jordan, in real life, it is terrifying. It is so many tears, so many prayers of crying out to God. I mean, I begged God to change His mind. I begged Him. I begged Him to know anything but that. Anything but that, God, I can't do that. I can't do that. God, please don't make me do that. Because He's not asking me to leave a bad thing. He's asking me to leave a great thing. I think that's where the faith comes in.


Now, thankfully, in my story, the Lord affirmed it so much, and I think He knew it would be so hard for me. He affirmed it so much, that it was unquestionable for me, where I very quickly got to the place in my spirit, where I feared disobedience, more than I fear of leaving. And I feared leaving a lot. So, you have to understand how much I fear - I was so clear on the call. To not obey the call would be blatant disobedience. I just had to obey. I went kicking and screaming. I begged God to change His mind. I tried to negotiate. I tried to everything. The Lord was relentless that that was what he had for me next.


So, I had to obey. I want to be a person that obeys, even if it's hard, and that was for sure the hardest thing He's ever asked me to do, for sure, in my life.


[0:09:46] JR: Even though there's no guarantee that it's going to work out.


[0:09:49] CW: Zero. In fact, He hasn't even told you what you're going to next. It's not like, “Leave this, so that” – there is no “so that”. It's leave this and go out into the abyss of the unknown.


[0:09:59] JR: Yes. But that's what it means to live by faith.


[0:10:00] CW: Yes. Living by faith is one of those things that again, stitch it on a pillow. It's great. Living it out in real life. It's terrifying.


[0:10:08] JR: Yes. I was telling you before we started recording, one of the things I really respect about you is how honorably you left Ramsey, right? Because I know you loved your job. But listen, I'm sure there were things you didn't love, like every single employee of all time. But you've been nothing but gracious in your departure. So, I'd love to hear you talk to our listeners who may be considering leaving a job as how mere Christians ought to honor our employers that we're leaving, after we depart. What does that look like, practically?


[0:10:41] CW: Yeah, I love that. Well, what made it so easy for me to do that was the relationship was good. Now, if you're leaving a job where the relationship is bad, I think it takes way more discipline and self-control to bite your tongue. Because there's so much that you want to say, of the real story, but you feel like you shouldn't, in order to honor them, and so on.


So, I think there's a few things you need to process. Number one, the relationship was good, so it was easy in that sense. The other thing you have to ask yourself is, is anything negative, I would say, even if it's true? Is it actually beneficial? Is it going to benefit the audience? Or is it just going to make me feel better and make me feel vindicated? Because the reality is the battle is the Lord's. What battle? Any battle. The battle is always the Lord's. There's not a single battle that's yours.


Even in the hard parts of leaving Ramsey, even in the legal stuff, because of course, anyone can imagine there's a legal aspect of that. It was literally – Jordan, it was like a divorce. It was like, “Who keeps what and what are the terms?” I mean, you're talking about money. You're talking about products. You're talking about a lot of stuff that my roots ran so deep there, and ownership, and timelines. That was scary, and it was hard, and it was uncomfortable. No one knew what I was going through behind the scenes in those types of negotiations.


So, even that, you're going - you need a safe place to process what you're going through. I went to counseling. I had very trusted advisors and friends. I had an attorney help me look over the paperwork. So, I didn't just blindly walk through this very difficult thing on my own. I also did not verbally or emotionally process with the public, because that does not benefit them in any way. It’s completely unnecessary.


[0:12:23] JR: Because First Corinthians 13, “Love keeps no record of wrongs.” And I think this is one of those applications, right? Like it's not sharing information with people who don't need to know.


[0:12:33] CW: Right. In my case, and this is not always the case. But in my case, they did no wrong. Everything was completely legal and they had the right to do. So, the things I left behind that they own, they had the complete right. I knew exactly what I was signing 12 years ago when I signed on. There was no misbehavior. I think sometimes when something really abrupt like that happens, people are suspicious, and they gossip and they say like, “Oh, what's the real story?” That's what they really want. They want the real story. I’m like, “This is the real story, y'all. God called me to leave and it's not that it was just like, so easy and we're all best friends and hugging. It wasn't there was tears, and there was paperwork, and it was hard.”


But that's just the nature of the separation that was going on. It's not a reflection of misbehavior on anyone's part. But again, is that beneficial to share? No, it's not beneficial at all. I need a process that's with people that can help me. The public can't help me. So, instead publicly, all they need to know is it was good. I love Ramsey. Ramsey loves me. They honored me. Everybody did right by everybody. Sometimes they don't like that story, because it's not a headline, right? It's not juicy. Give me this juicy part. Rachel Cruze, Dave Ramsey's daughter who came on board to be that speaker 12 years ago, 12 years before I started, is still one of my very best friends. We got home from Disney two weeks ago. She's one of my very best friends. That should be a testimony to this is the real story. But it doesn't mean it was easy. It doesn't mean it was easy.


[0:13:57] JR: Go back before your departure and let's talk to, I’m sure there's a lot of listeners right now who are thinking about leaving a job. They haven't made up their mind yet. What would it look like for them to obey Scripture’s frequent command to honor their employer and serve them well, while also having their eyes to the next thing? How do they manage that tension?


[0:14:19] CW: Yes. So, here's my very short, very simplistic answer when people say, “How do I know if this is God's idea? How do I obey? How do I know?” If you are seeking the Lord, if you are seeking Him, He will not let you go wrong. What I really believe in that is, is if you are to move, He will affirm you so much that you are so uncomfortable where you are, it's time to move. If you are not feeling led to move, affirmed and moving, and your feet are planted, but you're just unhappy there, then that's where it's on you where you trust the Lord and go, “Okay, I am where you want me to be. I don't like it. It's not fun. But if I'm supposed to be here right now, then it must be good for me in some way.” It's because the timing is not right, or the next thing is not ready, or I'm not ready or something. So, you just faithfully show up. It is do your work as unto the Lord, not unto man and you're going to honor God with your day-to-day tasks, your responsibilities, your talents, and gifts, until he moves you.


Now, if someone – there's kind of all this if. If this, then this. If someone is praying and seeking the Lord, and they have affirmations that it's time to leave, but they're just not sure. Here's what I would say. You're never going to be sure. People think that they're waiting for certainty. I did a whole podcast on this. If someone wants to check it out.


[0:15:30] JR: Waiting for a sense of peace.


[0:15:33] CW: Yes. So, in my podcast, I have a podcast called Get Your Hopes Up. If someone wants to look this up, I think it's like something about certainty was in the title. Can you ever be certain? If you are waiting to be 100% sure before you act on what God's asking you to do, you will never act, because there's no such thing as 100% short in the walk of faith, Jordan. We're talking about an invisible God. We're talking about clues, hints, winks, affirmation, confirmation. You don't have God standing at your door going, “It is time to leave now.”


So, what I try to do, in my discernment, is I try to get as sure as I can. Now, as sure as I can, might be 70%. I'd say the Ramsey thing was like 95%. Okay. There's always the 5%, I have misinterpreted the Lord possibility here. But we were real close. And I think God just, like I said, helped me because He knew how hard it would be. Sometimes it's 70%. Sometimes, Jordan, it's 51%.


I think this is what God's asking me to do. But wherever you get to, whether it's 51% or 99%, faith fills the gap. That is where faith comes in. That is what walking by faith looks like. It's going, “I've only got 50% or 70% certainty, I don't have 100%. But God has affirmed me. He's affirmed through Scripture. He's affirmed it through wise counsel. He's affirmed it through my circumstances. He's affirmed it in my gut, like in my heart. My body feels like this is right. It really feels right.” It may still be hard. You might still be scared. But you've got a piece that's going, “This compelling is not for me.”


In fact, sometimes that's more affirming if it's not what you want. Because God will often ask you to do things you don't want to do. So, when you have all those things lined up, then it's on you to move, man. It's on you to move. Stop waiting for 100%. God's going, “I've already given you the signs.” We do this all the time. I see this and I've done it myself. Jordan, we will ask the Lord for a sign. God, I feel like you're asking me to leave my job. Let's go back to that person.


You feel like you're asking me to leave my job. I'm really scared. I don't know what I'm going to do next and I'm just not sure if this is you. If this is you, Lord, would you have a cardinal appear on my windowsill on Tuesday at two o'clock? And would you have him flap his wings two times, and then do a circle, and then fly off? If you would do that, Lord, I will know I'm supposed to leave my job. And let me tell you something, Jordan. On Tuesday at two o'clock, that cardinal is there. He's flapping his wings twice. He's spinning around and flying up and you go, “So crazy. What a coincidence. That's so weird. Anyway, Lord, am I supposed to leave my job?” You asked for the sign. He gave you the sign. Get off your behind and get out the door. He has answered you. Now, it is time to move.


So, I think there's a period of discernment where we need to go, “I need to get sure enough to where I think this is the Lord, and then it's time to move.” Here's the thing, and I'm going to go back to what I started with. If you are seeking the Lord, he won't let you go wrong. You will try to leave and he will close the door and you can't leave if you're wrong. If you move in a direction, he can steer a moving car. He can't steer a stalled vehicle. So, get moving, and He will direct you as you go, a light unto my feet. A lamp unto my feet. As you go, He leads. He's not leading if you're sitting on the couch, and He's giving you all the signs in the world, but you still won't move. So, it really is that in between of letting faith fill the gap, but it's on you to move once He's answered you.


[0:18:44] JR: That's good. It's so good. If we are seeking first the Kingdom of God, there is no wrong decision, right? There's no such thing as, “Oh, I'm 95% sure.” And, “Oh, man. It was the wrong thing.” There's no Plan B for followers of God, because His purposes will always, always, always prevail every single time. Even if the circumstances aren’t good. All right, Christy, bring us up to speed on what you're working on today.


[0:19:12] CW: Well, it's been really fun because I felt like the Lord gave me an in-between thing to focus on that honored Ramsey, that honored by non-compete, all the things, and that was training people in speaking. It doesn't compete with what they do, what I did before. So, I've really spent two years building a business training people in speaking. Whether that's podcasters, or YouTubers, or anybody that wants to build a brand, or build a brand online and so on. You're the face of your company. So, a lot of people are doing this and they don't know what they're doing, right?


No one's ever been trained in how to communicate. But the reality is, business owners, or brands, or podcasters, your ideas are only as good as your ability to communicate them. It doesn't matter how great your idea is. If you can't communicate it with story and with inflection and with confidence, then you're never going to make an impact or build your business or build your brand. So, I have spent two years doing that and that's been really fun. Then now, in this new season, I really feel God calling me to bring back what I did before, which is business coaching.


I've started a coaching group called Goal Getters Club, which is very much like my old business, Boutique Academy. So, it's fun because I feel like God is weaving together, the new, which I'm still doing. I've got my courses and so on. But also, the old and bringing back that business coaching. So, it's really cool to see how, to your point, nothing is wasted. Nothing is wasted. He works all things together for good. And so now I'm able to have variety and doing some of the old and some of the new. So, that's been really fun.


[0:20:34] JR: I love it. You've put out some terrific products on the speaking side. I've actually even asked some of your stuff on the professional speaking business side. How does that work of helping people build these public speaking personas? How do you see that connecting to God's purposes in the world and what he's put us here on earth to do?


[0:20:54] CW: Well, here's what's really cool. I'll give you an example as a story. That's my answer. I was booked to speak at the NBAA. last spring. This is the National Business Aviation Association. It was probably 700 people in attendance. The businesses in attendance were Disney, Netflix, AT&T, Hulu. We're talking massive organizations. These are companies, big companies, that use jets for their executives. So, that's who's at this company. So huge, huge audience.


As a comical ironic twist of events, I am speaking between an astronaut geoscientist, is before me, and after me, Jordan, is a real top gun, fighter pilot Maverick. Then, in the middle is me, like Legally Blonde. How did I get here? But here's what's really cool. So, I spoke on time management, life balance, and that is a very practical talk on how to manage your time as a busy executive, and so on. In part of my examples, I was able to share part of my faith. The way that I do it in a corporate environment is like this. I'm a person of faith. So, I believe that God called me to leave Ramsey, or I believe whatever. It's very much a passing.


Well, I had my book table signing afterward and people came up to me afterward. I cannot tell you how many people commented on the fact that I was a person of faith. Because in the secular environment, where no one uses those words, I was a light on that stage. So many people, believers and other people that just seemed curious, one passing comment. Because the reality is, the light of God is in you. Everywhere you go, people ask me all the time, “How do I talk about my faith?” You can or you don't have to. It's still going to shine through you.


So, when you talk about speaking, if you learn this craft, of being able to communicate with confidence. Deliver your content in a way that's compelling. If you're building a business in a way that converts. If you're a person of faith in a way that shines the light of God. What an unbelievable skill to have. What an invaluable skill to have. I'm not talking about Toastmasters. Okay. I'm not talking about your eighth-grade speech class, where you tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them what you told them, with a laser pointer and a podium. I'm talking about becoming a –


[0:23:08] JR: Moving people.


[0:23:08] CW: That's right. Becoming a dynamic storyteller, that moves an audience to change their lives. That's what we do in business, right? We want people to change their lives. Well, how do you do that with your words? That's how you do it. No one can sign up for your courses or your products or services, unless they understand how they can help them, again, with your words. I just feel like I'm equipping people to build businesses, build brands, build faith, change lives, when I give them this skill set.


[0:23:35] JR: It's good. I love that so much. You are – so Wayne Grudem, who edited the ESV Bible says that this Genesis 1 cultural mandate, what I call the first commission, is simply to make the world more useful for other human beings benefit and enjoyment. That's what public speakers do, right? You're helping them do that better. I know you're coaching Christians and non-Christians alike. I'm curious, though, what do you think are some of the challenges that are unique or especially acute for Christians who want to speak publicly? What are the hurdles they have to overcome mentally, spiritually, et cetera, et cetera?


[0:24:09] CW: I love this question so much. So, the first thing I would say just as a clarifying point for everyone listening. When we're talking about speakers, we're talking about you. We're talking about every single person listening. Because if you have an Instagram account, a Twitter account, if you have a website, if you talk in any capacity on behalf of something, your business or your faith, you are a speaker. So, don't think Jordan Raynor, Christy Wright, on a big stage with bright lights and massive conferences. I'm talking about any person in front of any group of people, 5 people or 500, it doesn't matter, online, and so on.


So, this is you. The person we're talking to this is you. I think one of the most difficult challenges for Christians, and this is kind of this, I don't know, it's an undercurrent in the Christian world, is that if you prepare, if you learn this craft, you prepare, you write your talk, you practice it, you are not walking by faith. You are not following the Holy Spirit's lead. It's inauthentic. It's disingenuous, as if somehow you should just get on stage with a microphone or in front of a camera with a microphone and just wing it. And that is somehow glorifying God, because you're just letting the Spirit lead. Just let the Spirit lead.


Do you think the worship band just got up there and Oceans just comes out perfectly? Do you think they did not practice? So, what I try to encourage Christians specifically around learning this craft around, practicing and preparing and writing, it shows that you care. You are stewarding your gift. Your story is no less true, because you practiced it. Your heart behind telling that story. Your heart behind the content that you wrote, or the points that you wrote, is no less true, and genuine, and authentic, and impactful, because you prepared it. In fact, it's more impactful. You're reliving the story and you're preparing and practicing to make the most impact possible. If you want to make the most impact possible, you have got to write, prepare, and practice. That is how you do that.


So, this idea that we are not living by the Spirit just blows my mind. Now, I will say this one disclaimer. If you're on stage, or even in your preparation, and the Holy Spirit interrupts you, as we know that happens. This has probably happened to you on stage. It's happened to me many times on stage.


[0:26:16] JR: Yes. Happened to me last night, on stage.


[0:26:17] CW: Okay And interrupts you, and the Holy Spirit, He tells you, “Tell this story, or say this thing, or don't say that thing, or don't tell that story.” Something you prepared, he tells you to cut. Or something you didn't prepare, he tells you that. You always submit to the Holy Spirit's leading. You always follow. Now, that may feel scary on stage. But that is truly what walking by faith looks like.


So, I'll give you an example. A couple years ago, we were launching my book, Take Back Your Time, and we're doing this big live event in celebration of the launch. And I had not prepared to tell this story of my husband, and he walked in, we had our baby in the nursery. He said to me, “You're doing a good job. You're doing a good job.” It was the story that felt completely irrelevant to my content, felt completely irrelevant to the outline and the purpose of the night. As I'm on stage, the Holy Spirit interrupted me, and it was very clear, there was this compelling to tell that story.


You mentally jump out of your notes, right? If you've got a confidence monitor, you jump out of your notes mentally, you tell that story, and then you hop back in. You try to do this seamlessly. And with practice, it gets very easy and very natural for you, and the audience doesn't even notice it.


From that night, the most feedback I got, the most impact – in fact, one specific story of a mom that was at the back of the room with her baby, that she felt like God spoke directly to her through that story, will be from those moments. But it doesn't mean that the whole talk or the whole opportunity is going to be just throw your hands in the air and see if God shows up. No, we're going to steward our gifts, and write, and practice, and prepare. And then of course, as always, when the Holy Spirit prompts you, you always obey.


[0:27:48] JR: It's good. It's really, really good. I got to imagine that another challenge that Christians and non-Christians deal with, I think this is across any religious lines, is just this feeling of inadequacy. Like, “Oh, man. I don't belong on this stage, whether it's leading a five-person meeting or keynoting a 5,000-person conference.” Did you feel, because you were pretty audacious? I mean, you're telling Chase on the phone, “Hey, I'm going to come speak the conferences.” Did you struggle with these feelings of inadequacy?


[0:28:17] CW: Yes, absolutely. The best example I could give you, I think, I was so young and stupid in the spring of 2010 that I don't even know what it was doing. It's like, you're kind of blind. It's that blind faith. But if you fast forward to 2015, we were launching the Business Boutique brand. So, before the book, before the coaching group, podcast, before any of that it was going to be an event.


It's going to be in fall of 2015. I was a new personality, which means I was a new, full-time speaker, author on this team, and I had been spending months building a three-day event. Our company had never done anything like it before. We did not have a female business brand. We did not have a three-day event like this. Every word of content was new. So, three days’ worth of content, all completely new, all written by me. All the speakers, everything.


Now, of course, we had a team to pull it off. We had the speakers, all that. But about two to three weeks before the conference is going to happen, I had a complete panic attack. I mean, it was one of those moments where you look up and imposter syndrome is no longer just a threat. It's just the truth. It's like, “Who are you to do this?” It's just like, you have gotten in over your head. You have over-promised. You cannot pull this off. What do you think you're doing? You finagled yourself into this on what basis? You have no experience doing a three-day event like this and so on.


So, the fear is so real. I'm having a panic attack. I do the only thing I know to do when I'm having a panic attack like that, and I'm crying, ugly crying. I go to my Bible, I open it up. It takes me straight to Exodus. It takes me straight to Moses. The Lord said to Moses, when He's like, “I'm not eloquent of speech. I can't do this. I don't know what to say.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Who gave man his mouth? Is it not I, the Lord? Go. I will teach you what to say. I will tell you what to say.” It was like God literally came down into my crying fit and spoke directly to me. “Who gave man his mouth, Christy? Is it not I, the Lord?”


So, I think that this fear of inadequacy is so real in the natural. You look around, you're like, “I don't have any proof. I don't have any experience. I don't have any right.” That's all true. That's all true. Guess what? That is exactly who God has always used. Perfect. You are now perfectly qualified. Because if you look at Scripture, he never used qualified people, ever. So, all you've done is make a case of why you actually are qualified in the Spirit. Because God always use unlikely people to do unlikely things in unlikely places. So, when you look at the model, Jeremiah, He took me to Jeremiah. Jeremiah 1:6. Jeremiah is like, “I'm too young.” He's like, how does he say it in Jeremiah? What is it? It’s like, “I will teach you what to say. I will tell you what to say.” So, you just look at example, after example, where you have very real people that were scared just like you, so feel comforted, friend. If you're scared and intimidated and overwhelmed, feel comforted, so were the heroes of the faith.


[0:31:06] JR: And the heroes of the faith weren’t just comfortable with it. They boasted in that weakness, right? This is so countercultural to worldly workplace advice, right? Self-help books, say, “Hey, you're feeling inadequate. Look yourself in the mirror, give yourself a pep talk, believe that you're enough and go for it.” Right? The apostle Paul, this guy who changed the world, as a public speaker, said that he was constantly boasting in his weaknesses and his inadequacies. Because when we do that, it gives God proper credit and glory. It assigns him credit as the one that is working through us in spite of our inadequacies, right?


[0:31:49] CW: Right. What I love about the examples in Scripture of like, in the Moses example or the Jeremiah example, is God did not say, “Oh, you are good enough. Oh, no you can. You're a great speaker.”


[0:31:59] JR: No, he didn’t. He’s like, “Yes, you're right. You suck.”


[0:32:02] CW: He gave them Himself. So, going back to what you said about boasting in your weakness, if you are listening right now, and you are feeling intimidated and overwhelmed, God will not pull you up and tell you are good enough. In fact, he will just give you Himself, and that's all the qualification you need. So, I have actually had people say to me, Jordan, I can't remember what the circumstance was. This is years ago when they asked what I did. I said, “Oh, I'm an author. I've written books or whatever.” They said something. It was this, actually, a young kid, believe it or not, he was like, 19 years old. I was like, “Oh, you learned this from your dad.” But he said something like, “What right do you have to do this?”


[0:32:34] JR: What?


[0:32:35] CW: Yes, something like that. Well, what qualifies you to do this? You may even feel that fear in your mind. You might think to yourself, what qualifies me to do this? You might even have like, really, people that have no tact, ask you to your face. But what's so great is, if God calls you, that's the only qualification you need, truly. I know that sounds nice, but it's actually very literal in the natural. Because if God calls you, He will align your circumstances and your opportunities.


If you look at my life, Jordan, there is nothing in my story that makes sense of my opportunities matching my qualifications. My opportunities have always far exceeded my qualifications. I got myself on a stage. My very first speaking event was a thousand people. I got myself there, literally, kind of by accident, by just like volunteering to help out a situation. God –


[0:33:26] JR: And to save your job.


[0:33:27] CW: Right. God orchestrated those circumstances. God orchestrated those circumstances. Every single detail of my life has been because God called me. God qualified me. God aligned my circumstances. So, if you're feeling intimidated, all you have to do is truly look to the Lord and go, “But he has enough. I can't, but He can. I'm not qualified, but He qualifies me.” And that's all the qualification you need.


[0:33:48] JR: That’s so good. There's a tension here, right? Because, on the one hand, oh, man, we should be bold, and audacious and confident in our work. Because as Paul says, in Ephesians 3, “God has the power to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” According to His power, that's at work within us. But the critical nuance there is where our confidence is sourced. It's not in ourselves, right? Paul is insanely humble, again, always boasting in his inadequacies and his weaknesses, but he is bullish, because of the call of God on his life. That's what gives him permission.


[0:34:29] CW: I would argue, a different angle on this is for all those people going, “Oh, but I'm not good enough. But I'm not qualified enough. I don't have a big enough brand or audience or whatever.” It's actually, if God is calling you to do something, if he's calling you to speak or to teach, or to lead Bible studies, or to build a brand, or build a ministry, or start a business, whatever he's calling you to do. To argue with God is actually incredibly arrogant, to tell Him that you know better than He does, about what you can and can't do. Do you think you know better than the one that created you, what you can and can't to do?


So, I think sometimes we think, “Oh, I'm so humble. I just can't. I'm just a grasshopper. Oh, poor me. I'm so humble.” No, no, no, that is actually not humility. It's arrogance. Because if God has called you, then he knows what you can do, and your job is to submit and obey. Real humility is going, “God, I don't know how. But if you're saying it, then you're going to do it.”


For someone listening right now, especially, one of the things that I have seen God do time and time again, especially as I'm working with people that are stepping into the space of learning how to have a voice, build content, organize content, help people in some capacity. Often, God will tell you who you are, by your circumstances. God will tell you what he wants you to do next, by your circumstances. People come to me all the time, Jordan, and they say this. “I'm not a speaker. I'm not a speaker. I'm really not. I'm not like that. I'm not extroverted. I'm not super confident. But it's crazy, I just keep getting asked to speak. I just keep getting asked to speak all the time. My Church wants me to speak. My business wants – my team at the company wants me to lead. I don’t know why I just keep getting all these requests. But I'm not a speaker. That's not for me.” I'm like, “Weird, because it seems like God's telling you that you are.”


It's like God will often – that's how God showed me I was a speaker. If you asked me in the spring or summer of 2009. Christy, are you a professional speaker? I'd say, “No.” God showed me that I am while I was on a stage. God will show you who you are and showing you what you need to do. We think I have to feel a certain way to do it. No. You do it first and then the feelings follow, once you follow and submit. That's true humility.


[0:36:28] JR: That's good. Hey, so in the last couple of years, you've been coaching speakers and building your own business. You've also been attending seminary on and off, right? No big deal. But you don’t have enough on your plate.


[0:36:41] CW: Yes, I did. I attended seminary for two years and then it's crazy. Can we just tell like a crazy story?


[0:36:48] JR: Yes, please.


[0:36:48] CW: This is kind of a crazy story. Okay. People say all the time, God works in mysterious ways. He literally does and he will take the winding path. So, I'm not going to claim to know, His purposes for me and seminary in the future. I don't know what the future holds. But I'll tell you this. After I left Ramsey, I took one class on a quarter, I took another class, I took the summer off. I tried to get back in the fall of ’22 and it was just crazy busy, tried to get back in the winter of ’22 and I got in, and the class was so gruelingly difficult. I don't mean difficult, with the increasing class load because you're advancing in your curriculum. I mean, it was like, I wasn't supposed to be there.


We're now it felt like I was out of God's will and I really wrestled with it. Because I thought, my purpose to go to seminary was to get my master's degree. my Master's in Theology. We jump ahead, God says, “Hey, go to seminary.” You’re like, “Oh, okay, it's because of this.” And we jumped 10 years ahead and here's the plan and the purpose. We always think we know His purposes.


So, it takes me 10 weeks of wrestling through this class in Joshua, which is not a light read, for anyone wanting to know. Wrestling through this class, to finally realize through prayer and discernment, like we've been talking, that I'm done with seminary. That at that time, I was done with seminary. This would have been the spring of ‘23, I believe, and I felt completely released. I realized I had gotten back into classes, because I felt like I needed to fulfill other people's expectations of me, because when I left Ramsey, I said, “I'm going to go to seminary full time, because I just assumed that's what I would do.” Then, God showed me I was supposed to do something different and start this business and so on.


So, I just kept trying to keep up with other people's expectations of me when the Lord had actually released me. I looked backward. Oh, I think I’m going to tear up when I say this. I looked backward. God called me to go to seminary in June of ’21, and I obeyed and I went. God called me to leave Ramsey in November of ‘21. When I walked in that building, to deliver the scariest news I've ever delivered in my entire life. I could not even form the words, Jordan. I was so scared. The very first response they said was, “Well, of course. You're in seminary. We saw this coming.” I believe the Lord had me go to seminary to walk me out of Ramsey unscathed. I believe everything about seminary was to make a smoother path for me leaving Ramsey. I know that sounds crazy, but I believe it.


[0:39:10] JR: That doesn’t sound crazy at all. That’s so good. I love that takeaway of, hey, we don't have to know God's purposes. We just have to know His voice and obey His voice, and trust that He knows what He's doing with our obedience. Right?


[0:39:26] CW: Right. We always want to jump ahead, though, don't we? We want to say, “Oh, He's called me to seminary to get my master’s. Oh, He's calling me to meet this person for this outcome. Oh, He's calling me to do this thing for this purpose.” We rarely know His purposes. Our job is just to obey the thing in front of us without trying to jump ahead, because the reality is, we're usually wrong. When we think we know exactly what He's going to do and how and when He's going to do it. We're almost always wrong. And then we make it harder on ourselves to obey later. We actually invite doubt in when He doesn't do what we thought. But He never said that was the purpose. He never said, “Christy, go get your master’s.” He never once said that to me. He said, “Go to seminary.”


So, in God's eyes, if that was His purpose, His purpose was completely fulfilled. Because to your point, I was able to leave Ramsey in a way that was honoring, that wasn't confusing, that wasn't suspicious, and an honor everybody involved in the process. It just created a smoother path. I never, ever would have known it. But He didn't say in June of ‘21, “Hey, Christy, go to seminary, because I'm going to call you to leave and I'm going to actually use this.” He didn't say that either.


That goes back to Faith. I’m like, “God, I have no idea what you're doing. This degree is not going to help me in my career whatsoever.” I mean, other than the knowledge, which obviously has been beneficial, but it's not going to actually change the trajectory of my career. Well, I know what I'm called to do. But I just obeyed anyway. And it goes back to, there’s such a thread we're talking about today, of walking by faith. You don't have to know the purpose, but walk by faith. You don't have to understand the outcome. But what why faith. You don't have to like it, but obey anyway. As you do that, God's purposes will be fulfilled in you and they're often not what we think.


[0:40:51] JR: Yes. So, so, so good. Christy, we wrap up every single episode of the Mere Christians Podcast with the same three questions. Number one, if we opened up your Amazon order history, what book are we going to see you buying over and over and over again, to give to your friends?


[0:41:09] CW: Oh, I love that question. So, I guess, the most, I haven't actually done this, but I will share it today. The book I'm reading right now that I share today is The Gap and The Gain. It's a really great book on perspective and business and how we measure ourselves as entrepreneurs, so highly recommend it. But as far as like the book I would give over and over again, I mean, this is going to be like so typical, I think because everybody loves it. But Atomic Habits, man, like I read that recently, and it's just so – I see the big deal, because it's so stinking good.


[0:41:34] JR: It's so stinking good. Hey, who would you want to hear on this podcast, talking about how their faith shapes the work they do in the world?


[0:41:41] CW: Okay. I'll give you two. One is a big name and one is maybe a smaller name.


[0:41:46] JR: I love small names.


[0:41:47] CW: Have you had Christine Caine?


[0:41:48] JR: I have not had – we've never invited Christine Caine.


[0:41:51] CW: You need to get Christine Caine. She’s such a stinking firehouse. She will just pump you up and just blast through the speaker. She's so good. I don't know why this came to mind. But I'll share it. Stephanie Meek, has a business called Five Daughters Bakery here in Nashville and she has a few locations. I don't know if it's anywhere outside of Nashville. I had her on my podcast years ago on the Business Boutique Podcast back when that was the name of the show. I remember distinctly asking her – so her doughnuts are really good and they're really expensive.


I remember asking her back then, “As a Christian, how do you feel confident in your pricing when we feel so squirmy about like, oh, I don't want to charge. I feel like I should give everything away?” She had the most brilliant answer. I'm not going to do it justice. But it stuck with me. She said, “I feel like because I'm a Christian, I should charge more. Because the quality and excellence that went with these, I want there to be a good brand representing Christ. I want there to be a good brand representing the kingdom. Not poor and pitiful.” She said it so much more brilliant than that.


But that really stuck with me. If she saw it completely opposite than most people would see it. She actually saw the dignity that justified the pricing, because she's a Christian and what she represents. I thought, “Gosh, that's so good.” Anyway, she's got a really cool perspective and story of how they started that business, and so she would be a good, just kind of entrepreneurial story, that she can share.


[0:43:10] JR: That's a great tip. All right, Christy, before we sign off, you're talking to this global audience of mere Christians, very diverse, vocationally. Some of them are entrepreneurs. Some of them are bakers. Some of them are mechanics. And some of them are professional speakers. What's one thing you want to reiterate to them, before we sign off to encourage them in this integration of their faith in their work?


[0:43:32] CW: Well, I feel like that this is just kind of the battle cry that I have said for probably eight years. I say it all the time, because I think it applies to your faith, or your business, or your workplace. It doesn't matter. You don't have to wait until you're not scared to do the thing you want to do. Do it scared. You do it while you're scared. The antidote to fear is action and nothing will silence your fear of doing the thing, whatever the thing is. Nothing will silence the fear of that, like doing the things, so go do the thing.


So, in fact, this is going to be the topic of my next book is around doing it scared, because I think that one thing can set you free to pursue things you never would have otherwise, while you're waiting around scared and stuck. So, do it scared.


[0:44:07] JR: That's good. Hey, Christy, friend, I just want to commend you for the exceptional work you do, for the glory of God and the good of others. For giving us a real model of what it looks like to honor God by honoring our employers, past and present, and for reminding us to live and work by faith in ways that make no sense to the rest of the world. Friends, if you want to learn more about Christy, you can do so at Christy, thanks for hanging out with us today.


[0:44:35] CW: Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.




[0:44:37] JR: I hope you guys enjoyed that episode as much as I did. Hey, here's what I loved about Christy's guest recommendation, this Five Daughters Bakery. So specific. It was like, “Oh, I loved this person and the way that they thought about pricing doughnuts.” If you've got something similar, you've got a friend who's a mere Christian who has said something that's really stuck in your mind of, “Oh, man.” That is clearly how that person's faith is shaping their work today. I want to hear about it. Let us know at by recommending that friend as a guest for the podcast. Hey, thank you guys so much for tuning in this week. I'll see you next time.