Sunday, January 8, 2012

Revisiting Shame

And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 KJV)

Shame was not the original focus of that morning’s Bible readings, but it caught my eye in the verse above. Sometimes we should be ashamed, and admonished.

There was a time mankind walked with God and felt no shame as to their appearance. Then they came to know good and evil, and were ashamed, recognizing they dishonored God and they knew fear (Genesis 3:7-10).

Our country has spent a great deal of time and energy schooling children to ignore feelings of unworthiness or improper conduct. In some instances schools have removed awards in order for children to retain their self-esteem by not losing to another.

Our children are taught in school that there is no shame in personal relationships that our Bible teaches are sinful. In a reversal, to speak out against such sin is now considered shameful.

Feeling ashamed is feeling regret. Today’s society denies a need for regret. Make a mistake? Acknowledge it didn’t work, then move on. That applies to no-fault insurance just as well as it does to divorce. In today’s society couples feel no shame in living together without wedding vows. Today’s headlines requiring marriage be allowed are for those who do not fit into marriage as defined in the Bible.

These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; (Acts 17:6 KJV)
That’s what we need to do. We need to turn today’s world upside down by obeying God, not being ashamed of His word. We’ve been told what to expect if we are ashamed of Him:

Whosoever 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. (Mark 8:38 KJV)
How not to be ashamed? Also answered:

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 10:11 KJV)

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)

And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28 KJV)

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