Saturday, November 16, 2013

Don't Let Shame Go Out of Style

    Shame.  It's out of style.  I still get that horrible burning in my gut, and my eyes pop open if I think I've forgotten something I shouldn't, or broken a forbidden rule.  But not every one shares this.  Not everyone feels a burning desire to follow what's right.  Even Christians. 

    I've noticed a few examples in the general public.  I see it on T.V. when a person ruins a perfectly good ATV by running it up a sheer mountainside that not even the best of wild goats could scale.  Then they tumble to the bottom and laugh at what they've done.  Laugh.  They've wasted thousands of dollars, caused a huge mess to clean up over a lack of wisdom depth, and they think it's funny.  I'd be appalled.  And ashamed.

    I see it at work.  There are policies everywhere, and people readily agree to follow them, be subject to the powers over them. They receive the policy books and sign their name, agreeing to follow said rules. Then they break them at their convenience and argue their rights.  They call or stop in, and give someone who has no power over changing the expectations a piece of their mind. It doesn't seem to bother them that they've raked someone over the coals for their own lack of shame for ignoring protocol. I'd be red-faced and gasping.  And ashamed.

   Perhaps you think shame should be a thing of the past. An outdated phantom image like a naughty child perched on a stool wearing a dunce cap in the corner of the classroom. Yet I discover that shame is a vital part of being a Christian. Zephaniah 3:5B NIV says, "Morning by morning he dispenses his justice, and every new day he does not fail, yet the unrighteous know no shame."
   That feeling of shame keeps our moral compass constantly reminding ourselves to be humble, so be subject to the powers that be, and to recognize our own sinfulness and failures.  It helps us be more tolerant of others when they stumble.  And we all stumble.

   I'm certainly not endorsing belittling people, or encouraging people to clam up when they must speak out to right a wrong.  Yet, don't be so eager to eliminate shame from your life, from your family's life.  A person who has no shame has no care of what he does, or who he hurts and cannot understand the need for a Savior in Jesus Christ. And that is just a waste of life, like a tumbling ATV. 
  Only no one laughs when they hit the bottom.

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