26 Lessons from Lecrae’s Unashamed(2016)


Reading through Lecrae’s UNASHAMED (2016) felt like reading an autobiography which of course it is. Although his music is a sort of autobiography, I got more insight into the real situation when I read the book.

Who is Lecrae?

Lecrae’s a controversial Christian rapper. I just can’t seem to get over the word “controversial.” Apart from the controversy, he tries to be a good father to his three children and a good husband to his wife.

It is necessary to know that he is one of the few Christians who speak up about the mistakes they’ve made in the past. Many Christians make it seem like once you’re a Christian, you’re not prone to making mistakes anymore. This of course can put a kind of pressure on the newly believing Christian. He made mistakes while he wasn’t yet Christian, and even when he was already Christian.

When he realized that he wasn’t exactly doing what God wants him to do, which involved singing his music with the effect that his unhealed past had, he sort of metamorphosed.

Many of his fans wanted the old Lecrae back while the guy was climbing higher and higher in his full potential, which didn’t include being trapped in the Christian rapper box. He is way more than that.

We can identify that God’s hand is on his life. He continues to do more for the people, do more for society, give them the opportunities that he didn’t have. What is being salt and light if that is not included?

Lecrae is clear about who he is. He doesn’t want the name Christian rapper because he is way more than that. he went from being a Christian rapper who sought approval from people, mega-churches and even from God to being a hip hop artist whose faith is reflected in his music. He is a social activist, fighting for justice and all that. he deals with issues that Christians generally has issues with. So, many people wonder if he is a Christian or not. He constantly receives backlashes from people.

Lecrae keeps saying that he is an anomaly. He doesn’t have the ideal image of a Christian and neither does he fit in the secular world. Think about someone who is constantly thought to be on the fence. He constantly talks about the Biblical worldview. He has written another book, I am restored, last year. Lecrae is as controversial as any human could.

Lecrae keeps saying that Tupac was the nearest person he could look up to when he was growing up. all those Martin Luther King were gone by that time. Until Naira Marley came, some people didn’t have an identity. So, they jumped on the idea of being Marlians. Tupac could just be compared to Naira Marley. This is just to establish the understanding that young people have a need to follow a role model. And as such, they follow those whom they can relate to. Of course, people still say that Tupac’s style is reflected in Lecrae’s music. So, Tupac made an impact on Lecrae’s life.

So, the two-time Grammy winner keeps collaborating with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and John Legend. Some people believe that he is in there for the money and the fame. But, in reality, he is more exposed to more temptation, women in the quest of trying to get unlikely people into knowing God. He is Christian but he reaches a wider range of people. This man continues to receive backlashes even from evangelicals even though he is at the edge of more temptation than a normal Christian. We’re constantly surrounded by people who looks like us (it’s a comfort zone if those you constantly interact with are Christians only.)

He is from the record label reach records. If we were to go about the number of Grammys and awards he has been nominated for or that which he got, we’re going to have a long list. But, who is he aside from those credentials? It is necessary to say that he is a Christian. Even though he says he’s not a Christian rapper. There’s a lot of reasons for this, many of which would be highlighted in the book review. And personally, the first person I could relate to when it came to the issue of religion versus relationship in Christianity.

26 Lessons from Lecrae Moore’s UNASHAMED

1. Not fitting in, for peculiar people

Normally, we’re not of this world. Lecrae had from a little boy not fit into any box. He wanted to belong to a place and have an association. He had never got into any and was always an outsider. Someone called into a specific purpose wouldn’t just do things because everyone was doing it.

2. No daddy saga- a big issue

The role of a father cannot be overemphasized. The father is one of the first few people that a little child can look up to. When God created family, he made it man, woman and child. Single Parenthood was not in God’s plan especially for boys who need a father figure to look up to. They need someone to tell them what to do and tell them whether something is right or wrong.

Even though Lecrae’s mum provided him with a stepfather, even he didn’t know how to daddy Lecrae because he also didn’t have a father while getting up. They had a platonic relationship. I go my way, you go your way. When there’s no daddy, they are very vulnerable and turn the nearest person they can look up to into a role model.  That was one of the reasons why Lecrae loved to rap. Tupac had the same experience as him that he could relate to. And this issue can tell on the way we view God as a father. It is like a template that determines how our relationship with God will be from the start.

3. A big momma’s influence

Sometimes when it seems like everything it’s falling apart, God always had people stationed around us even if we don’t see them or understand what they are doing. Even when he started with hey, he just helped her like let’s just do this and be fine with it. We can be this kind of person’s to other people. Just keep planting seeds.

4. Adjectives like black, skinny, introvert and shy

These words are segregation factors. If there is a black, there is a white, if there is a skinny, there is a chubby, if there is an introvert, there is an extrovert.

We don’t have to speak these adjectives out before a person knows that he is a misfit. We just have to put up a few performances. Lecrae says he is a misfit but at least, he was black, skinny… all those boxes he fit in were segregation boxes.

5. This looks like love

The kind of child that had always been looking for someone to look up to without success will easily fall into this trap. He had an abusive childhood and lost value for himself. He thought he was invaluable. But when someone started abusing him sexually, he misinterpreted it for love. At least, he was having a strange intimacy with another human at six years. He didn’t know what it was but he knew that there was something so strange about it. And now, he knew he was good at something. So, he started getting pants down because when a child is being abused, they’d start looking for things that would make them look valuable.

6. Checking out other religions

For Lecrae to start looking at other religions, he knew that his life was a mess. If your life is a mess, you will know. He tried Islam, Mormonism and others and found out that they were not for him. So he continued in his troubles.

7. Fitting in in college

At college, he thought that he was going to be with people who looked like him. That was even when his situation was worse. Because he didn’t fit anywhere. And by the time he found out another association, there would be something that would put him off. So, he kept moving from college to college

8. Darkness settling before light Pierces

Light is only more visible where there is darkness. So sometimes,

God just allows darkness to settle so that when like breaks forth, we can appreciate it.

9. Not Lame or Bigoted

Some Christians make Christianity to be seen as a weak religion. Most other religions seem to require more discipline. Having a weak view of the world. Maybe because it seems like we’re just conditioned to a certain way of life. Then, were blind to other things. When Lecrae was to be shown the light, he met people who didn’t fit into the image he had in his mind. Some Christians have this mediocre attitude. As a result, won’t work hard because of the knowledge that miracles can happen. So, we send signals of being clueless about what’s happening in the real world.

10. Preach to us, not at us

‘Preach at us’ can be just the reading of Bible verses, speaking in terms that people don’t understand. You’re preaching for real, but they’re not getting it. ‘Preaching to’ means preaching in the language they would understand.

11. The image of Jesus

We’re going to be getting a lot of surprising comments if unbelievers were to be asked who they saw Jesus as. Lecrae thought Jesus was this weak man who went about telling people ‘I love you’ and not getting angry and doing miracles. Learning that Jesus is gentle and strong was quite unbelievable. If you’re gentle, you’re expected to be weak. Or just be aggressive and strong. It was quite hard to reconcile these two adjectives ie ‘gentle’ and ‘strong’. Just like it is to reconcile ‘lion’ and the ‘lamb’ or ‘love’ and ‘fire’.

12. Adopt me if you won’t drop me

Lecrae was finally getting to understand that Jesus could fill that hole that the lack of a father caused. This guy had experienced more than a fair share of abuse wanted a father. There was the thought that it could be because he was not worthy of being loved. So, he told Jesus to adopt him if he was up to the task.

13. Old habits revisited

When Lecrae was being self-righteous. He had faith that he was going to be alright. He preached self-righteously. By the time the euphoria that the fresh fire that fell upon him when he met Jesus would evaporate because it could not be sustained. He went back to his old self. He was going to appear like the self-righteous Christian Lecrae in church; the Lecrae that stacked up a lot of secular music CDs for disposal and as a show that he was changed. But outside church, he was the life-of-the-party Lecrae.

14. Friends who don’t bash you for falling

Christians are fond of doing that especially those who accept Jesus earlier. Then one person falls and you know about it. We don’t treat them the way the Bible asks us to. And funnily, we could be tempted to fall into the same troubles. Lecrae finally knew that he couldn’t do it alone and God was faithful enough to give him a friend that understood that while on his walk to maturity, many situations would happen.

15. Journaling

Journaling helps to track where you were and heels you to be on track. They’re memories that you’re brain can’t accurately store. You just have to pen the details wherever you can. You can download the free “I’m tracking the new decade progress tracker” here.

16. Fronting and hiding your struggles

If you show yourself as weak, it is normal for people to take advantage of you. Lecrae could have just walked up to somebody. The reason he did that could not be far-fetched. It’s the same with the church. Though people smile at you, they tend to be fronting and hiding their real situations. There’s a lot of people going through a lot but they can’t speak up because there’s discrimination, segregation, Insensitive comments, insensitive requests and expectations, etc. That doesn’t mean that we should keep fronting. In this evil world, God always has a few people who can help out of those situations.

17. Earning God’s approval

The same Lecrae who said he could not do Islam if he was not going to last long (if he walked based on Islamic principles that were based on whether Allah saw you fit enough to go to heaven) was trying to get God’s approval by doing a lot of things. This guy never had a real dad. So, he wanted God’s approval real bad. He wanted to do something that would make him God’s favourite.

Lecrae didn’t do these things intentionally. He did these things and it affected his music. Listen to songs like ‘Go hard’. He was still growing then, so, it’s understandable. He didn’t understand that we didn’t have to do anything before God started loving us. And if we then do something to please, it won’t be with the motive of trying to earn his approval. It won’t be an approval issue but just because we love God. He talked about a covenant relationship and a contractual one. He did the contractual relationship instead of focusing on the covenant one that lasted forever.

18. Don’t shove your Jesus in my face, meet my needs

It took a long while before Lecrae understood. He had caused dissension while thinking that he was doing God a favour. Stuff like shaking a Muslim’s hand deliberately and reminding the person that he had just shaken an infidel’s hand. That’s what self-righteousness could do. People don’t just accept Jesus that way. You’re just complicating matters.

19. Another kind of persecution

Lecrae thought he was being persecuted after ignorantly causing dissension all over the place. Cos, no one accepts Jesus that way. Jesus is not someone who just can be forced on people. What makes us different if we keep manipulating people into accepting Jesus Christ. Even the Holy Spirit cannot strive with man forever. He is not a demon. Lecrae was being forceful about it without proper knowledge. Of course, the violent taketh it by force in this kingdom. If you’re going to take evangelism by force, do it another way. Express the power of God. That’s not manipulation. That’s just showing what your Jesus can do. But, Lecrae thought he was being persecuted when all he met was rejection due to his approach.

20. The subtle harm in You need to be like me

While sharing your experiences could be wonderful sometimes. Your experiences can encourage others or even challenge them to become better. However, it could be a turn off for others. It could be intimidating. The motive you have while sharing your experiences is important. You also need to take into consideration the kind of tone to use while doing that.

21. Seeking people’s approval

When he first started rapping, he included a lot of theology in his raps and gained traction. He was getting money but later on, as he was progressing, he began conditioning his things because he wanted people’s approval. He wanted to be invited to megachurches. Until he sang I’m praying for you where he allowed his real self to come outside, bearing his weaknesses and being himself. That song was magical

22. What to do at Crossroads

Thank God for Lecrae’s wise wife who was able to direct him back to God to have intimacy with God. To ask god all the questions in his heart. So, when you’re at crossroads. The best thing to do is to shut down all the voices. Then, God will start teaching you things you won’t hear from someone else.  It does wonders.

23. Biblical Worldview

Biblical worldview tackles the thought that staying in the church and expecting that the whole world would be changed. It deals with not segregating the world and understanding that the earth is the Lord’s. We that we are already sanctified and are god’s children need to institutionalize Jesus instead of getting them to do things on their own. You don’t interfere in their culture, you do nothing about it and you just go ahead and form your own group. By being the salt and light of the world, you have to shine your light and light up the whole place. That simply is what a biblical worldview is.

24. Doing it God’s way

Later, Lecrae who had always been a misfit decided to completely be a misfit. That caused dissension among his fans who thought that he had backslidden. Things were not the way they used to be anymore.

26. Early days music vs. now music

The life of a man is in stages, so. The way it happens is that you start growing from one level to another. He made music then, to the glory of God. The old music is the snapshots of his life. Then, focusing on the biblical worldview made his music evolve.

Just like Paul said, somebody plants and the other person waters. Focusing on the Biblical worldview can’t be done by everyone. While we all want that the kingdom of God become populated, there has to be an actual set of people who go about the world, planting. So, after planting, the church is needed to do the watering, feeding them with the undiluted word of God so that they can grow and mature. but, if there are no new plants, or if we keep frustrating the efforts of the planters or even act in hostility towards the new plants as the church, is the house not divided against itself?

Thoughts and conclusion on UNASHAMED

Lecrae Moore’s life was crooked from the beginning. From going through diverse kinds of abuse and misunderstanding a lot of things. His mom’s tenacity to give him a better chance at life was also flounced. And even making a lifetime mistake—making his girlfriend abort a baby. But like the way God turns everything to good happened. If he hadn’t been through those hurtful boot camps, his salvation might not be genuine.

And his walk to spiritual maturity was not straightforward. He was being influenced by elements like the need for approval, the reflection of his unhealed past…

The rap genre of music is mostly seen as ungodly if you’re an African who’s Christian. Well, it’s understandable. As the level of evil spiritual influence in Africa is second to none. So, we try our best to disassociate ourselves from things that would bring those evils to manifestation.

But apart from that, most times, we carry Christianity like it’s a garment that differentiates the whole world into two parts, saying “we’re the holy ones, let the others go to hell” I do my thing, you do yours.  When Jesus comes to take me home, you stay behind. Which is just how the Pharisees in the Bible operated.

Racism is not just by colour. Religious racism is even worse. We go into the world and make disciples of the people already in church—That’s what we’ve been doing just sitting in church full of light and expecting the world to be edified. We don’t step our foot outside church.

Lecrae didn’t get to this stage in one day. He was once self-righteous like you and me.

Lecrae’s appearance? You ask?

Well… if the thoughts of the world are collected concerning that, we’d be having tons of books full of words. I’d say, if your conduct would make your brother falter, you’d better not do it. And if you’re talking to the Romans, you’d better do well to appear Roman.

For someone like Lecrae who understood the difficulties of life in the black hood, he’s in the best position to bring people like him to the knowledge of Christ. I mean, faith is about no soft stuff. Check out how difficult it is to bring atheists to the knowledge of Christ. Merely telling them that God loves them isn’t likely to yield results. So, check, can you do it? Let’s just let those who’ve been equipped to bring such people into the knowledge of Christ do it without being persecuted by the same us– Christians.  Like seriously, Lecrae has a quite toxic fan base. I wonder how he’s coping.

Should everyone have a Biblical worldview?

The biblical World view cannot be overemphasized. Yet, everyone can’t be equipped to feed the whole world. If you’ve been called to reach the Jews, fine. And if your light is meant to shine to the Gentiles, good. Paul wrote to the fathers who already knew him, to the young men who are strong and have overcome the world and to the little children who have just known the father. Some people would have to nurture them into maturity.

Why Unashamed?

Unashamed for the gospel? Lecrae says he isn’t. If he’s unashamed, it could mean hiding Jesus behind him while he enjoyed the fame of being a rapper. He explained in the book that not lacing his music with religious lyrics didn’t mean he was ashamed of the gospel.

Books, music, painting, politics… whatever you do, do to the glory of God. Just let the world know who you stand for. As long as he is being glorified.

In conclusion, it’s encouraging that many Christians are going mainstream with their works—normal jobs that would have been reserved only for a Christian gathering. Yes, we’re not keeping our Jesus in our pockets and we’re intentional about it!

2 thoughts on “26 Lessons from Lecrae’s Unashamed(2016)

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