Monday, November 2, 2020

Like the Lord, Despise the Shame

By J. Randal Matheny

     Some people have no shame, when they ought to show it. “The righteous person hates anything false, but the wicked person acts in shameful disgrace” Proverbs 13.5. Are there any more wicked than religious figures preaching false doctrines, creating their own kingdoms, living in dissolution, and loving the attention, power, titles and diplomas?
     Then there is that sinner who is so overcome by his shame that he fails to come forward and confess his sin. Instead of drawing closer to God, he allows shame to drive him away from the Lord. Jeremiah has it right on this one: “Let us acknowledge our shame. Let us bear the disgrace that we deserve. For we have sinned against the Lord our God …” Jeremiah 3.25.
     Acknowledging the shame and bringing the sin out in the open serve to allow the Lord to offer forgiveness and restoration.
     The Lord Jesus despised or ignored the shame of the cross, Hebrews 12.2, in order to bring us forgiveness. The original verb is quite strong. It is often translated as scorn or disdain when its object is a person. Attached to the cross was public humiliation. It was reserved for slaves and criminals. The crucified person hung naked for hours or days, near busy roads, the passersby throwing insults, merciless soldiers with a distasteful assignment treating him with disdain, ridicule, and hatred.
     But Jesus faced it all, so clear was his objective in his mind. He loved us so much, he was willing to face it.
     So must be our attitude toward the shame of sin. Our reaction to it must be similar to the Lord’s, in order to receive the forgiveness offered us on the cross. We must not let shame overpower us. It must not be allowed to make us cower and hide.
     Ignore the shame! Hate it! Set it aside! Punch through the shame in order to reach out to the Lord!
     Then he will make it go away, together with the guilt of sin.
- J. Randal Matheny edits and writes UPLift, an inspirational ezine. He
may be contacted here: <http://randalmathenycom/>. When reprinting this
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Copyright (c) 2020 J. Randal Matheny
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