When an elementary school classmate of mine was caught doing something wrong, he would always respond, "I am so ashamed." The first time teachers or other parents would hear his lament, they would have to turn away and suppress a laugh. As a result of his "cuteness," he successfully got away with a lot of havoc without paying the appropriate penalty.
Shame can play a big role in controlling behavior. In fact, one of the characteristics that marks sociopathic personalities derives from the fact that such individuals feel no shame concerning their behaviors. No question, shame motivates behavior for most sane individuals.
Shame teaches us when to talk and when to remain silent. It trains us how to behave in a mannerly way. Shame helps us understand what kind of words will sound appropriate and which words will offend. In so many ways, shame guides the paths we choose to take in life,
However, when it comes to our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, we have no reason for shame. God sent His Precious Son to die on the cross and pay the penalty for our sins. God raised His Son, Jesus, from the dead so that, by the resurrection, we might also gain entrance to heaven when this life on earth ends. Quite frankly, having received so great a salvation, we need have no shame about Jesus.
The apostle Paul wrote—in the opening chapter of his letter to the church at Rome—these words, found in Romans 1:16:
16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
As we make our way through our daily lives, do we withhold our identification with the Living Christ? Do we shudder in shame when someone mocks Christians, or says something inflammatory about people of faith? Do we maintain two sets of friends: those who believe as we do about Jesus and those who deride Jesus and those who follow Him?
We have no reason to be ashamed of Jesus. In fact, we have every reason to celebrate the reality that He has claimed us as His own.
Many hymns and gospel songs celebrate the delight that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ brings into a believer's life. Those hymns and songs remind us of the peace, joy, mercy, grace, and a host of other daily blessings that Jesus gladly gives to those who follow Him.
The next time you bridle at acknowledging the One who loves you most, remember that every moment He sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty making intercession for you. Enthusiastically, and without even a whisper of shame, acknowledge that Jesus is your Savior. He is your King! He is your Redeemer! He is the Lord of your life!