Good Shame?

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

January 8, 2024

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Good Shame?

Read

1 Corinthians 6:5 “I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?” (respect, arouse shame)

Romans 9:33 “As it is written: ‘See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.’” (never be disappointed)

2 Thessalonians 3:14 “Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed.” (passive, receive it)

Think

Today, most of society is screaming about unwarranted shame. It is true that there are times that shame can be very destructive, but well-placed shame can actually be very healthy and redemptive. If you do something you know to be wrong, then you feel guilty. It is the voice of conscience. If you are a Christian, it is the Holy Spirit crying out. Shame, which is the byproduct of a sense of right and wrong, can have a powerful impact. The world doesn't place a lot of value on moral rights and wrongs, so it is little wonder that shame has lost its significance.

Shame and pain are closely related, like siblings, and they run together; so often, when we are in pain, we are burdened by shame and guilt.

If you look up “shame” in the Bible, you will find it 100 times in most versions. There are several Greek words that are translated “shame” in our English Bibles, including a different word for each of our three passages today. The thrust of these Scriptures is that the one who trusts God will “never be put to shame.” Peter and Paul in the New Testament developed a theme that believers will stand before Jesus without shame because our sins are forgiven. At the same time, the writers in the Bible rebuke wrongdoers. Jeremiah, in chapter 3:2-3, asked the question, “Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct?” So, shame isn’t bad if it shifts our heart toward God. Shame isn’t bad if it focuses our conduct on becoming more like him. Shame can keep us in check. This kind of shame is God’s way of communicating that we are in need of redemption.

Today, utilize shame to direct you toward God—where you will find grace, forgiveness and hope for a better tomorrow.

Apply

Today acknowledge the difference between well-placed shame that drives us closer to God and shame that makes us want to hide from his presence. Is there anything you need to confess? Turn to God and embrace his forgiveness.

Pray

Jesus, help me to be open to you. When I mess up, help me to move toward you. Help me to lean into you. Keep my heart soft. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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