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Hey, everybody. Today, Ali Stucky on the Charlie Kirk Show. You guys are going to love this conversation. Email me your questions. Freedom at Charlie Kirkconnell, freedom at Charlie Dotcom. Please consider supporting our program. Become a supporter at Charlie Cook Dotcom slash support for monthly supporters. We do a monthly private Zoome call with you at Charlie Cook Dotcom Slash support. Charlie Cook Dotcom Slash Support. Ali Stuckey's is here. Buckle up, everybody. Here we go, Charlie.
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Hey, everybody, welcome to this episode of the Charlie Kirk Show.
Super thrilled to have with us today Ali B. Stucky, who is a podcast for one of the most popular female Christian voices in the country, and is also the author of a new book. You've got to go get your copy right now. I love the title and I have to make sure I get the entire title correctly. It is your not enough. And that's OK, Ali. First of all, welcome back to the Charlie Kirk Show. Tell us about your book.
Well, thanks so much for having me on again. It's you're not enough, and that's OK. Escaping the toxic culture of self-love. So this culture of self-love that is so prominent, especially among young women, is targeted at us on social media. But even sometimes in the evangelical church, it's this idea that in order to be happy and fulfilled and satisfied and successful, you just have to have high self-esteem. You have to be obsessed with yourself. You have to love yourself.
And the underlying message is that you are enough, you're enough for everything you need, your own truth, your own purpose, your own satisfaction. The problem is that's not true. So if all the problems that we have, all the bad feelings that we have inside of ourselves, which are real insecurity and deficiency, inadequacy, feeling like we just can't measure up the antidote to those things can't also be inside of ourselves. So the self can't be both the problem and the solution.
And this book is about going through the five myths that are propagated in the culture of self-love. Some of them are that you are enough, can't love other people until you love yourself. You determine your own truth. And we talk about how these lies manifest themselves in culture and our personal lives, even in politics. And then we replace these damaging myths with the truth of God's word.
Well, it's very refreshing to have a book that is I feel like there's too many political books I wrote. I mean, this is actually a book that actually goes to my root causes. And I say that we need more people to know about self-control than self-esteem. And I was always a very big critic of the self-esteem movement because you're telling 10 year olds you're perfect the way that you are and is always very bizarre because why would you be in school then if you're perfect the way that you are?
I mean, I actually think it and I would love to have your your opinion on this. It creates a unintentional byproduct of the students or the individual. They feel an unneeded amount of pressure, like maybe am I am I OK? Because when they do end up not hitting that level, they then have to judge themselves to that criteria. You that's number one. You say you are enough. That's myth number one. You draw on your own personal experiences having battled an eating disorder.
Tell us about that one. Let's go through all five.
Yeah. Said the first one that you are enough. And as I said at the beginning, this idea that you are sufficient for your own happiness and success and you are the only person who can actually achieve these things for yourself, that you don't have to depend on anyone else. You don't have to depend on your faith. You don't have to depend on God or any outside AIDS or forces in order to guide you and make sure that you are fulfilled.
Well, as you kind of just alluded to in the lie that you're perfect the way you are, we all know that that's not true, that we can't handle everything that we have to handle on our own, even just on a practical level, with all of the roles and responsibilities that we each have to fill as individuals, something's always got to give. We don't have the capacity. We don't have the energy, the strength, the talent, the time, whatever it is to do all the things that we need to do well.
So in that sense, we know that we're not enough, and yet we're told over and over again that we are well, rather than trying to prove our enough ness, that puts us on. This hamster wheel of trying to prove our our sufficiency, why don't we embrace the fact that God actually made us finite? You made us fallible. He made us not just to depend on other people, but to depend on him in a very ultimate and eternal sense, to depend on him for salvation, but also to depend on him for strength and for sanctification, for satisfaction, for fulfillment, purpose, truth, all of these things that we just can't bring to ourselves.
Because, as the Bible says, our hearts are desperately wicked. Who can understand them? We actually have to look outside of ourselves to learn who we are, what we're worth, our value, our purpose and what truth is.
That's number two where you say you determine your own truth. I hear this all the time on college campuses. My truth, this is my truth. Or listen to that person's truth. If you actually play that out to its furthest logical conclusion, that is societal chaos, where everyone has their own truth and their own version of events, we as Christians believe in absolute truth. It is one of the fundamental, I would say, pillars of Christianity that Jesus himself was truth, that he said everything a human being needs to hear.
Talk about this myth that you determine your own truth. Yes.
So like you said, that is so popular. And typically what people mean by my truth is they mean my experiences are my subjective interpretation of reality. But when they label it my truth, what they're saying is that you can't argue against it. This is my truth, that, for example, abortion is my right. It's my body, my choice, my truth. But you already see in the example that I just gave, the the ramifications of believing that you determine your own truth, you justify something like the slaughter of an unborn child in the name of convenience because you have determined that it is an inarguable truth, according to you.
And so this idea that it's my truth and your truth also means that you believe that it's my morality and your morality, which means that you can justify any choice, no matter how destructive, no matter how abusive, no matter how wrong, because you have determined that it is true for you and therefore no one can tell you that it's wrong. We're watching that play out in our culture right now, a bunch of moral relativist who are crying out.
In some cases, not everyone who is talking about justice means this, but some people, the far left revolutionaries that we're seeing take over the streets in Portland, in Seattle, crying out for justice without any solid definition of what justice is, without any solid definition of what is right and what is wrong and what is good and what is bad. And we're seeing the results. It's it's chaos. And so, as you said, a society, not only can a person not live very long without some kind of grounding truth and morality that is transcendent past, you know, what we determine for ourselves.
But a society can't function like that. You've got all these people walking around as their own gods, determining their own truth and morality and then trying to project their own subjective truth on other people. We see that in cantell culture. It's like whatever was true yesterday isn't true anymore. And so now you're canceled for not agreeing with my truth. It's all crazy and it's unsustainable. You're exactly right, and so the I actually think it creates very miserable people because then it also people then say, I have to go find my own truth.
And you're exactly right. They they conflate personal experience with truth.
And and so someone might have had some bizarro world experience where, you know, they got struck by lightning and they say, well, my truth is that lightning is the number one threat to humanity. Well, that's that's just that's just not true. I think I, I, I'm sorry that happened to you. I know that you're scarred by it, but that claim to try to apply it to the entire country would be silly. And I actually think it creates very confused people.
Myth number three, you kind of talked on this before. You're perfect the way you are. So in response to to try to give at least a little bit of rope to the people that push this myth, I think it was in response to the over bullying that probably happened when you and I were growing up. And I think as a inappropriate reaction to that, my opinion, they said, oh, no, you're actually perfect exactly how you are today.
And I think that was mostly good intentions, not all of it. Can you comment on that? Because some people are like, well, that actually is giving me some comfort when people tell me that.
Yes. So I was actually going to start out answering that question in that exact way that the people who say you're perfect the way you are or the people who say that self-love is the most important thing and you are not typically do have good intentions, they're responding to that very real insecurity that so many of us will feel. I would say, especially young women, that we felt like we can't measure up. We see advertisements that look unrealistic. We see unfair standards by feminists over here and then, you know, some people on the other side of the pendulum.
And so there are a lot of young women who feel like they just struggle with self-loathing and never being able to measure up. So these people who are saying, hang on, you're not the way you are, you're perfect the way you are. They are responding to very real feelings. The problem is the underlying message there is that you have to look inside yourself and go inside yourself, her confidence while it's inside yourself. You've already admitted that what exists there is a lot of confusion and self loathing and insecurity.
You're not going to find the fix to those things also inside yourself. You're going to repeat these motivational mantras. You're going to tell yourself you're perfect the way you are deep down, knowing that you're not knowing that you're flawed, knowing that you are going to fail and to make mistakes. So the better antidote, the only antidote to those things is not is not just a bunch of self fulfillment talk and self empowerment talk, but to look to the God who made you who is our perfection.
Grace is our perfection. He is our sufficiency. We look to him to reach the standards that we can't meet and that confidence is stable. That confidence doesn't change. What you and I feel about ourselves is going to change on a day to day basis based on a thousand different circumstances, whether people praise us or hate us, whatever it is. And that is exhausting. So rather than depend on what we think of ourselves and trying to delude ourselves with this idea of self perfection, why don't we look to the perfect creator of the universe, to the perfect savior who died for us?
That is where we find what we are worth and what our value is. And that doesn't change. That's a very liberating reality, that it's not my perfection that satisfies me, but Christ perfection and his love for me. I would love to see you go on some of these kind of left wing female podcast, I don't try to make this too political. I'm not. But they do take exception to this is actually more philosophical. And I'd love to just to see you go up against them on this, the people that basically preach this nonsense all the time.
And so I hope that you're able to do that number for will of it, though, because it seems like it is aligned with mostly leftist type thinking. I'm not trying to make it to political either, but world views, I mean, they establish what you think about politics and the self. So there is a connection. Yes.
So No. Four will really, really upset a lot of these people. I think number four out of all of them will probably get the most backlash. I could be wrong, which is that you're entitled to your dreams. I hear this all the time. Tell me why that's a myth. Yes.
So you and I were probably raised in similar homes where we were told rightly that if you set goals and if you put your mind on something and if you work hard and God gives you the grace to do this and it's a part of his will, you can accomplish anything you want to. My parents told me that growing up it wasn't a feminist message. It was just a message of, hey, we worked really hard. We showed you what it means to work hard and to achieve the things you want to achieve.
And you totally have the ability and the capacity to do that, too. And I'm so thankful for that. Probably a lot of people listening to this podcast hopefully had the same upbringing. Unfortunately, I think that a lot of young people also learned maybe not from parents like ours, but maybe from teachers, from culture, celebrities, whatever it was, that not only not that you have to work hard to achieve what you want to achieve, but actually anything you want will come to you.
And if it doesn't, it is unfair that if you don't have the job that you want, if you're not making the money that you want, if you're not given the things that you want right out of college, then there's something unjust about the system. You have been you've been dealt something that is unfair and you need to be angry and resentful about it rather than saying, you know what, life nothing is guaranteed just because even if you work for something that you think you deserve, you're not necessarily guaranteed it.
And of course, if you don't sacrifice for something, then you're definitely not going to get it. And so I think that this actually is probably a nonpolitical myth. I think people there, young people on the left and the right, who I agree with that.
Yeah, I think that's exactly right, and I think that that's probably the most bipartisan myth that's out there where people say I'm entitled to, you know, pursue my dreams. Well, that's probably wrong. So I agree with that. So number five is you can't love others until you love yourself. You go straight to the heart of the self-love movement. Tell us why that's wrong. Yes.
So this is popular even among Christian women. They say, well, Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself, which means that loving yourself is a prerequisite to loving your neighbor. But if you look at the text, that is not the kind of love that Jesus is talking about. In fact, we know that Jesus calls us to call his disciples to self denial, to self crucifixion, to taking up our cross and following him so it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for him to give kind of a different directive.
What he means by this, by loving yourself, is the kind of love that we are all born with. So not necessarily affection, not the kind of love that looks in the mirror and says, wow, I'm pretty and I'm awesome. But the kind of self sustaining love that all of us are born with for survival, Ephesians five says no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it. It was Blaise Pascal we talked about in the book that said every man pursues his own happiness without exception.
That is true. We were born that way, born for self-preservation. We look to meet our needs to quench Arthurs to satisfy our hunger. Jesus is the same with the same inborn love for yourself, the desire and the drive that you have to take care of yourself. Apply that self preserving love to other people, meet your neighbors need. Make sure that he has all of his needs met, that you quench his thirst, that you satisfy his hunger, that you clothe him, that you look to his interest in not only your interests on C.S. Lewis talks about this in mere Christianity, that the love for neighbor that Christians are called to is not about liking your neighbor, and therefore it's not about liking yourself either.
It is a decision to look after the interests of other people and waiting around to love other people until you have some kind of level of self-esteem. And self confidence means that you are going to miss out on very fulfilling opportunities for service and relationships that require your sacrifice, but are nonetheless, nonetheless joy giving.
What do you have to say about the inevitable criticism you'll receive when people say the self-help self-love movement saved my life or it was great for me? What would you probably have already received this in your beginning parts of promotion. What is your response to that?
So I talked to a lot of women who had that same experience in writing this book because I wanted to get the perspective of people who are deep in the self-love culture. It's very prominent among young women, I would say, especially on Facebook and Instagram, because it's not young women sorry, young moms, especially just because we feel like we're pulled in a million different directions and that we can't ever measure up. And so they feed themselves these motivational mantras and self care and self love.
And it does it makes us feel better. Of course, self flattery feels really good and it probably will help you achieve some of the goals that you have. So it might help you get the promotion. It might help you save money to buy the car. It might help you lose weight. And all of those goals, by the way, are good. But ultimately, if those are your idols, if those are the things that you are running for and that is your purpose and you are only able to look inside yourself for the strength to accomplish those things, you're still going to be empty because you can lose the weight, organize the closet and chase after your dreams become an entrepreneur.
All of the things that the self love crowd tells you that you deserve and you can still end up empty and spiritually bankrupt. And that's what happens to a lot of young moms and young women. The ones that I've talked to in writing this book, they decided they were going to pursue their own truth, find themselves. They were going to learn what it means to really embrace self-love. They found that a lot of the people that were propagating these lies also had very unhealthy, unhappy lives and they ended up in unhealthy and unhappy places.
And I detail my story of how I ended up there, too. So I just want to clarify, though, to the people who say, well, you're telling me to hate myself. You're telling me to embrace self deprecation and just to be insecure all the time. No, no, no, I'm not. I am telling you to take your eyes off of what you think about you, which is ever changing and unsatisfying and put your eyes on Christ and who he is and what he did for you.
And in that way, you will liberate yourself from the never ending, ever crushing burden of being your own God in your own sufficiency. And that is why that's why you're not enough, and that's it's not just OK, it's really, really good news. Would you argue or do you argue in the book that the self-love movement actually long term does more damage than good, that it might feel good like a sugar high, but it actually does not long term fix any of the issues that are structurally, let's say, bothering people.
It absolutely will do more damage than good, because, again, it convinces people that they are their own gods, it glorifies self centeredness and selfishness. If you read some of the books, unfortunately, by these so-called self-love gurus, they outright say that we don't need any more selfless people. We need more people who are full of themselves. That's what one author has written about in her bestselling book. And so think about that. Think about what selfishness does in your own life, how it damages your relationships and your own joy.
Just think about that on a wide scale. If you had moms and sisters and friends and female employees, whatever it was, I'm going to put my wants and whatever I want to my own happiness first and everyone else just doesn't matter as much as me. That's going to have really negative implications, not just personally, but societally. And so I absolutely think it does a lot of damage. Compare that trendy narcissism of what I just described to, for example, the greatest generation.
They're known not for their selfishness, but for their sacrifice. Every hero that we know is known not for self-love, but for selflessness. And I think that's a virtue we would do really well to embrace.
So do you think that this book can be applicable to nonbelievers as well? Because obviously we're both Christians? I think one of the things you're really touching on is that knowing your not enough is the total depravity of human beings, that there's no way that we can actually do enough good things to grow closer to our creator. We just instead have to accept, you know, the ultimate gift that God gave us. What's your thoughts on that? Do you think that this can be applicable to people that are not yet, you know, followers of Christ?
Yes, it is an explicitly Christian book. And you will find you will find the gospel throughout the book. And so if you're not a Christian and you're maybe you're even offended by the Gospel, then you will be offended quite a few times in this book. But that's OK. I encourage you to read it and to allow yourself to be challenged. There's a lot of practical, for example, relationship advice, job advice, what you do when you don't like your job, how to deal with difficult relationships, and making sure that you are acting in a way that is selfless and is serving other people.
We talk about the damaging effects of, for example, social justice council culture and things like that. And so if you're not a believer, there's still something to get out of it. Of course, my purpose, my aim, my hope is that people hear the gospel and of course, by the grace of God would accept Christ. But of course, everyone can read this book. And I do hope that anyone can get something out of it.
The I'm imagining you're going to do a big tour around this. And speaking to a lot of audiences, a lot of Christian women are going to be so curious to hear the response for it, because a lot of Christian women, especially Christian moms, are there in this.
You are that you actually channel your inner power like all this kind of kind of that. Can you just take a step back?
I should ask this at the beginning. What was the biggest kind of like the impetus to want to write this book where you just did you just see an over inundation of that kind of narrative and you felt the need to kind of present the biblical argument or what was what was really what drove you to to think to theorize this and write this book?
It was really my listeners to my podcast relatable. You know, we talked about theology, politics and culture. And a lot of the people who listen to my podcast saw on Instagram and among Christian influencers in particular on Instagram, talk about the importance and the primacy of self-love. And so I just started getting a lot of questions. Is this typical? Is this right? It sounds good. It kind of feels good. But is this biblical? Is this where we should be giving our confidence?
So as I dug into it, I found that No. One, it's not new. This has been very popular in psychology for decades, probably since the 1970s. The self-esteem movement. There have been writers, journalists, psychologists who have debunked the myth that, for example, self-esteem or low self-esteem is the cause of crime, is the cause of all the bad behavior problems in our society. I mean, that's really a philosophy that is strong and yet it's been debunked several times.
But it's such a popular lie and it's such an attractive lie because it makes us feel good about ourselves, at least for a moment. It's not a lasting satisfaction, but it makes us feel good about ourselves for a moment. And really my main concern with seeing it seep into the church and how women's ministry started to sound more like a motivational conference that had nothing to do with grace, nothing to do with sin, nothing to do with sanctification and holiness and everything to do with self-esteem and self-love and.
I noticed how it started wrecking people's theologies, they were reading the Bible as if the Bible was about making them feel good rather than about glorifying God. They were looking at the world, looking at politics, looking at society, looking at biblical issues from the lens of how does this make me feel rather than what's true. So I seen devastating effects among Christian women. And I just wanted to do, you know, the small part that I could say, hang on, let's redirect our eyes away from ourselves and on God who never changes.
Amen. So the book again is you are not enough. And that is OK. I encourage everyone to go pick up a copy. I think men could actually get something out of this, too. I don't think it just has to be women. So I think you would agree in the book.
It's a pink book and it is from a woman's perspective. But hey, if Pink doesn't scare you as a man, I encourage you to pick it up. And hopefully we do believe in two genders.
Any other closing thoughts, Ali, on this book and what you're trying to what you're trying to communicate?
Well, I just had so much fun writing the book, and I'm so excited for people to finally have it in their hands. It was delayed. It was supposed to come out in May then because the craziness of coronaviruses, it is now out August 11th. And if you are a woman, you can join Women's Book Club with Ali Hecky on Facebook. We've gone through a lot of books this year in nineteen eighty four. We've gotten through Screwtape Letters, a lot of really good books, but we'll be going through this book together.
There will be a study guide available for any women reading woman who joins the group. You can go lead a study on your own with this study guide if you want to as well. But it's out August 11th. You can go to Alibek Stucky Dotcom slash book and then you will be able to find all the places that you can buy the book online. So, yeah, I'm so excited. August 11th. And that is, I think, all the information that people need.
Well, thank you so much and God bless you, Ali. Good luck. And everyone go pick up a copy of the book and thanks for joining the program.
Thanks so much, Charlie. You bet, Alex. Yes, good luck.
I think you Tizen, what a great conversation that was with Ali Stucchi.
Please consider supporting our program at Charlie Kirchen slash support Charlie Kurk dot com slash support, get involved turning point USA, USA, USA, Dotcom. Email me your questions. Freedom at Charlie Cook Dotcom. Thank you guys so much for listening to next time. God bless.