Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 48:1-49:6 / 2 Timothy 1:1-18 / Psalm 119:81-88
We have all experienced shame in our lives. Either we have been ashamed because of what we did or what we said. I read a story about a young girl in junior high school whose father was a janitor. She didn’t know it, but he had gotten a job at her new school. A student had dropped their tray in the cafeteria and a teacher loudly called out her father’s name so he could clean up the mess.
To her embarrassment, she saw him walk to the table with a mop and some rags. One of her new friends said, “That janitor has the same last name as yours. Do you know him?” She looked at her father and hesitantly said; “I’ve never seen him before in my life.” She was instantly ashamed of denying her father whom she considered her dearest friend on earth.
Paul writes to young Timothy, “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner.” (2 Timothy 1:8) “Ashamed” is being afraid or feeling shame which prevents one from doing something; a reluctance to say or do something because of fear of humiliation; experiencing a lack of courage to stand up for something or feeling shame because of what has been done.
Paul senses that his young disciple is showing signs of being ashamed of the Gospel with its accompanied afflictions, persecutions and trials. From time to time there is a tendency for us to be ashamed of who we are and what we have as Christians. Some are ashamed to admit they love the Lord and trust Him as Savior. Some are silent and ashamed to speak up when others ridicule God’s Word. Others are ashamed to completely sell out for the cause of Christ. For whatever reason, Christians can find themselves ashamed of the Gospel and its work in their lives.
Paul gives us the solution for shame…the abiding knowledge of the Person of Jesus Christ…He removes all sense of shame. “Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed…” (vs.12) The word “know” means an absolute, “beyond a doubt” knowledge. This kind of knowledge is not personal knowledge gained by experience, but knowledge of a person. Paul’s personal knowledge of Christ erased all shame. There was no shame in the power, holiness, salvation and grace of the resurrected Christ! Jesus defeated death, hell, the grave and all of the world’s wisdom.
Because of his personal relationship with a transforming Savior, Paul placed all of his trust in Christ. He found Jesus to be true, genuine and real. When we discover and experience Him, we will not be ashamed but will be His light in the midst of a dark world. Don’t hide your light under a bushel of shame; let His presence ignite your passion and purpose…let your light shine!