Many are kept from living wholeheartedly for God by their fear of what others would think of them. The world's thinking has so infiltrated our minds that many of us "dare not attempt to be eminent in the sight of God for fear of being little in the eyes of the world."1 If we fear man's opinions, we become skilled at avoiding ridicule and shame. Our lives and our witness are characterized by timidity rather than boldness.

Shame diminishes not only our effectiveness for the Kingdom in this life but also our eternal rewards in the life to come. If we are ashamed of Christ before men, He will be ashamed of us before His Father at the Judgment Seat.

For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (Matthew 1O:32-33)

God's cure for shame is revealed in a passage from the masterful allegory, Pilgrim's Progress. In this scene the character, Faithful, tells his friend, Christian, about being accosted by Shame, one of the enemy's craftiest agents.

Faithful: Indeed this Shame was a bold villain. I could scarcely shake him out of my company. He haunted me and continually whispered to me about how unmanly it is to take religion seriously.

Christian: What did he say to you?

Faithful: He objected against Religion itself! He said, 'Twas a pitiful, low, sneaking business for a man to mind Religion; he said that a tender Conscience was an unmanly thing; and that for a man to watch over his Words and Ways was to tie himself up from that liberty that the brave Spirits of the Times accustomed themselves to. He pointed out that only a few of the Mighty, Rich, or Wise were Christians. None of them became Christians, in fact, until they were persuaded to be fools. He spoke of their Ignorance and their lack of understanding in all the Natural Sciences. He said that Religion makes a man the ridicule of the Times!

Christian: And what did you say to him?

Faithful: Say! I did not know what to say at first. The more I listened to him, the more the blood rushed to my face. I was almost overcome by Shame, but then I asked myself: "Which is more important: what people think or what God thinks?" And of course, I knew the answer to that! That which is highly esteemed among Men is an abomination with God. Therefore, what God says is best, though all the men in the world are against it. God prefers his Religion; God prefers a tender Conscience; they that make themselves fools for the Kingdom of Heaven, are wisest; and the poor man that loves Christ, is richer than the greatest man in the world that hates him; Shame, depart, you are my Enemy; shall I entertain your thoughts rather than those of my Lord? How then shall I look him in the Face at his Coming?

When we are accosted by Shame the cure is clear: we must turn away from what people think to focus on what God thinks.

Turn away from man, in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he? (Isaiah 2:22)

Jamie Lash                     

(assisted by Brent Wallace)






 Jamie Lash    LifeGivingWords
 3000 Mountain Creek Pkwy.   Dallas, TX  75211
 214-333-5432    1-800-791-1965




Copyright 2004 LifeGivingWords