The Shame Game

IMG_0868Last weekend, my husband and I attended a one-day chiropractic seminar in Lake Tahoe put on by his chiropractic coach, Jim Naccarrato. I’ve often attended seminars with Chris—in fact, I believe I’ve missed only one in the eight years we’ve been married—but never have I been as impressed with the heart and intent of the speaker as I am with this coach.

It may seem strange that chiropractors have “coaches” but it’s no different than anyone else who seeks out the wisdom and expertise of a mentor. Coaching offers people a different perspective in order to achieve greater success whether it’s a life-style coach, fitness coach or chiropractic coach. What impresses me about Dr. Naccarrato is that he brings to the table much more than business-management advice and pep talks. Chris’s last coach, who was part of a very large organization, focused on numbers—how many patients does he see and how does that translate into income? What techniques can be used to increase the revenue?

Dr. Naccarrato’s focus is God-centered—how can you best serve the needs of your patients in a way that honors God and is true to your “ministry.” Yes, he actually sees the work of chiropractors as a ministry. And isn’t that the platform from which everything we do should start? We are not here to rake in the bucks—but to serve. Whether you do that at home, raising your kids, as a “minion” in a crowded office, or as a doctor, police officer, teacher or…writer.

I was recently accused, albeit through subtle innuendo, of being a “housewife who writes her little stories and calls them [my] ministry, unconcerned about making an income from them because [my] husband supports me.” It took me a few moments to realize these words applied to me as well as “those” writers to whom the speaker was referring. I’m not even sure the jab was intentional, but it landed a surprising blow nonetheless. Should I take it as an insult that I’m unconcerned about making money with my “little” stories? Or maybe I should take issue with the fact that I call it a ministry.

On the contrary—it was a compliment. Of course I realize not all writers have the luxury of having a spouse that supports them. We do not live in a “fair” world. And I can’t account for why God’s blessed me as he has—I certainly know I don’t deserve it. But I will not be ashamed of staying home to write my “little” stories, because I’m merely following the call God’s put on my heart. And walking in obedience should never bring one shame—even if those looking from the outside don’t see it that way.

Dr. Naccarrato says to “Do the right thing for the right reasons, and God will bless it.” Does that mean if I continue to follow God’s lead, and keep my heart focused on Him rather than the end result, He’ll bless me with book contracts and worldly success? Of course not. Because, as hard as it is for some to understand, God does not view success through the lens of dollar signs. But if you and I, keep in mind that we serve Him rather than the almighty dollar, our success is assured. It just might not look like we expect it to—but I guarantee, in the long run, it’ll be better.

2 thoughts on “The Shame Game

  1. Jennie, thank you for the encouragement! I agree, life serving God is not about monetary rewards but about eternal rewards. Your “little writings” make a difference in my life and I know in many others’ lives. It is a gift from God to see how He works in the little ways and to be able to use those to show others. Reading each one of your stories or thoughts is like being with you in person when we can just talk and share. When we can be content in our circumstances, not focusing on the almighty dollar, but instead on the Almighty Himself, we find peace and joy unimaginable. I am grateful to our Lord and to your sweet Chris for enabling you to focus on your “little writings” rather than having to work to support yourself to survive. We all benefit as a result! Love you! Di

  2. Jennie,
    Ditto what Diane said. God won’t reward you with a publishing contract for the money, but for helping the people you reach in your writing to reach for God. It is an amazing gift, that he saw fit to give you a Godly husband to help you reach His people. There are many of us out there that need to read what you write.

    Love Always,
    Barbie

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