Dealing with Shame!
Dealing with shame!
This is a topic I am sure we have all had to deal with at one time or another in our lives. Whether it was years ago, or more recently, being confronted by a shameful situation is a very difficult thing for you and me to have to face. The shame we felt, or may still be feeling, may have come from something we did to bring it on ourselves, or it was cast on us by another person or persons. Either way there can be deep emotional hurt and pain involved when shame enters our lives.
In our present-day American culture, there are many instances taking place where members of our society are trying to bring shame upon the Christian community. Christians like you and me are being attacked for our belief in God’s Word and our desire to act in accordance with what Almighty God has to say to us. Yes, God’s people are often accused of being uncompassionate, hateful, narrow-minded, and unloving because we will not condone certain lifestyles or cultural practices. Shame, shame on you they repeatedly tell us! Shame is also projected on us because we are disciples of Christ, and we place our full trust in Him as the one and only Savior of all.
One thing you and I need to remember is the fact the Pharisees and others tried to shame our Lord Jesus. They tried to ruin his reputation by proclaiming Him to be a liar and imposter, and eventually they charged Him guilty of blasphemy and they had Him beaten and sentenced to death on a cross. Let it be known that when a person was mocked, whipped, and crucified it was a public shaming, as they stripped the person of their clothing, beat them, and hung them to die in a place where there was considerable visibility to the public sector. It sounds absurd that the Son of God and King of kings would be subjected to this kind of disrespect and shameful treatment, but He was and He allowed it to happen for our benefit.
In the Gospel of John 15:18-20, Jesus says, "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” Taking on shame for the sake of being a witness for Christ is a good thing, even though it may not seem like it at the time. Christ honors those who are faithful, even more so when it comes in the face of being shamed and persecuted for Him. May God grant you and me the strength and courage to lift high the name of Jesus, and to not be intimidated by the attempts of others to bring shame on us as followers of Christ! Pastor McCarty