Shame

Mark 8:38Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

It takes courage to be open about our sin.

To admit that we have crossed biblically drawn lines and willing acted on that which God has expressly told us not to is humbling. Guilt and shame are tools God uses to bring us to repentance over the sin we commit. The deed is done and there for us to remember.

But there are also things that God has told us to do that we so often neglect.

We are thrust into declaring what it is we believe before a possibly unaccepting and hostile crowd. The world has announced what it thinks. It’s rallying cry goes out to gather all those who would desire the pleasures of her dainties. Satan has pushed the limits of our societal moors to put God’s children betwixt two – having to declare our selves or accept such compromise that we feel guilt and shame for our silence.

The guilt and shame over things I have committed here on this earth will last only as long as the time I confess and repent to restore my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Those sins for which I am guilty, are paid for by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But the inactivity and silence for that which I am to be and do here on this earth is a guilt and shame I will bear for all eternity.

In this passage, Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees is sharp and pointed. He reveals that their heart is to elevate themselves behind a veneer of performance rather than Holy Spirit-led living. Not one of us is above sin. Yet, these men lived as ‘holier than thou’ before a people who saw their hypocrisy.

Jesus pulled the covers off of their behavior and pointed it out to the people for what it indeed was.

But what of us?

What if our sin was to be exposed like theirs? What if we reverted to Puritanical ways of shaming those who had sinned by wearing a scarlet “A” and publicly confessing their deed? Many would say it would be a significant deterrent to any future desire for those to commit the same sin. And they would be right. Capital punishment is meant to do the same.

But Jesus attacked the heart of those in charge because their heart was to control the masses with the guilt and shame rather than drawing all into repentance and a right relationship with the Lord. He exposed the practice as exercising religious tradition over living our faith as God leads.

Mark 7:13Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

That type of tradition has the power to nullify the power of the Word of God.

Standards are needed to reveal boundaries that God has set – not man. We are to be modest in our dress. We are to speak the truth in love. We are to live as becomes the gospel. We are to be as Jesus would if He were in our shoes today.

If the situation calls for us to speak up or speak out – will we?

Or will the shame of our sin keep us from saying anything? The confession and repentance are to restore our relationship with God. But taking the initiative to speak up for Christ has eternal consequences.

Be of good courage. You are not alone. If you are saved, you have all the power you need to be a competent witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.

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