Rapper Lecrae warns fans about two major problems people face when they're on a spiritual high, which he describes in detail in his new book, Unashamed.
The Reach Records founder and Academy Award winner took to Facebook on Tuesday to share an excerpt from Unashamed, which is set to release on May 3. In the snippet the rapper describes his initial reaction to getting saved and what he has since learned from his behavior:
I had finally been set free, but I was about to find out if I could live free. A person can be removed from slavery in an instant, but it takes a lifetime for slavery to be removed from a person.
The first thing I did when I returned to college after my conversion was steal a Bible. It was sitting in a local church's 'lost and found' box — someone else had lost it, but I found it before they did.
People who were raised in church often talk about coming home from a summer youth camp or church revival and being on a 'high.' Maybe that's the best way to describe what I felt too. It felt like a high, except I didn't have to smoke any weed to experience it.
I felt satisfied from having discovered what I'd searched for most of my life. The meaning and purpose I'd wanted was there now, and the worry that used to consume me was gone. Joy replaced anxiety, and I found a new energy for learning and growing. I had found the truth about life and God and myself. I was 19 years behind and needed to catch up.
But there are two big problems with being on a spiritual high. First, it can often lead to legalism. You want to prove — to God and your friends and even yourself — how 'holy' you've become, so you make extreme modifications to your behavior. You don't want to leave doubts in anyone's mind that you're really a changed person, that you're really 'on fire,' that you're really 'sold out.' So rather than rest in God's grace, you busy yourself trying to prove your own righteousness.
Lecrae is known for unapologetically sharing his opinions on an array of topics that might seem controversial or uncomforable to broach among some Christian circles.
In the past, Lecrae, who's also a father and husband, has said he knows who he's trying to reach with the Gospel so he avoids the title "Christian rapper," even though he's not ashamed of his faith. He and his fellow Reach Record rappers often proclaim the number 116, which hints at the biblical verse Roman 1:16: "For I am unashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."
The verse is also the inspiration behind Lecrae's book, which he says is for all who want to break the mold and live outside of the box, as he strives to do.
"I am writing Unashamed for all those who don't know who they are, who feel confined by the labels given to them," Lecrae said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. "This is for the outsiders looking for peace within."
"As an artist, my ambition is to make honest music, and I feel the same way about writing this book," Lecrae continued. "I want to be honest about where I've come from and what I've learned along the way. I want to influence culture, to help catalyze and inspire, and help other people find understanding. If they find some inspiration and some clarity for their own lives, as they follow my journey, then I will have succeeded."
In a previous interview with Rapzilla, Lecrae revealed that the book will explain why he has stormed the gates of the secular hip-hop community with his music.