There were a lot of times my mom used to tell me, “You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Do you ever think, “I am really ashamed”? There are things we should be ashamed of and some things we shouldn’t be ashamed of. Some people have it backwards.
Have you done some things you should be ashamed of? Jonathan Swift said, “I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.”
For example, have you ever been ashamed about how you’ve treated others, how you talk to others, how you judge others? Remember when Job’s friends were telling him that his misfortunes were a result of his sins? Job said to them, “You have already insulted me 10 times. You should be ashamed of treating me so badly.” (Job 19:3) Job was right, and we are right to be ashamed when we are cruel to others.
Ezra said he was ashamed for his and his nation’s sins: “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.” (Ezra 9:6)
But there are times we sin against others and God and we wrongly don’t feel any shame at all. Jeremiah, speaking about false teachers and backsliders, said, “Are they ashamed of these disgusting actions? Not at all––they don’t even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them, says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 8:12)
There are a lot of things we should be ashamed of before our God, and like Jeremiah, we have to sincerely repent of it. Jeremiah said, “I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.”(Jeremiah 31:19)
But what about things we should not be ashamed of? When the angel told Mary she would be impregnated by the Holy Spirit, do you think she experienced shame? Listen to what she said to her relative Elizabeth about her pregnancy:
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.” (Luke 1:46-49) Mary was not ashamed to glorify and honor God.
David said in Psalm 25:20, “Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.” Those who know God and trust him and his Word will not be ashamed. What great news!
Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
“For I am not ashamed 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.”(Romans 1:16)
Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38)
Are you ashamed to tell others about the Lord Jesus; afraid they might not like you, that they might laugh at you; timid about praying over your meal in public? “So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.” (2 Timothy 1:8). In verse 12, Paul continues. “…I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.”
Whatever else we may be ashamed of, we should never be ashamed to proclaim our faith.
Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 3:16 that those who talk about and make fun of our good conduct in Christ are the ones who will be ashamed on the day of judgment. If you are not ashamed of Christ, and he will not be ashamed of you in that great day. Isn’t that wonderful encouragement? Let’s go out today, unashamed of who we are in Christ and what he has done for us.
Who can you share the Lord with today? How can you show the world that you are not ashamed of your faith in God?
Check out a recent podcast by Fred here.