The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 3/15

Posted on | March 15, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 3/15

Scripture reading: Genesis 2:25–3:7

O Shame! Where is Thy Blush?

Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed;

they did not know how to blush. (Jeremiah 6:15)

 

In the sixth century B.C. moral decadence had brought the nation of Judah to ruin. Injustice, immorality, idolatry, and spiritual apathy were destroying the very fabric of the nation. The real issue, however, was not to be found in these outward perversions and immoral behaviors, which were merely the symptoms of a deeper problem. The root issue was shamelessness. Judah “did not know how to blush.” In other words, Judah’s greatest sin was that she did not know she was a sinner . . . or perhaps she knew but didn’t care. It is a frightening thing when a nation willfully turns her back on God and spurns his moral guidance. But it is a terrifying thing when a nation is neither aware of what she has done nor of her true spiritual condition. When a culture has no shame, the barbarians are at the gates.

Sound familiar? Take a walk through the mall, visit a public high school or college campus, channel surf, or listen to talk radio and you will experience firsthand the blatant shamelessness of our post-modern American culture.

,. Language that only a generation ago would have made a sailor blush is today routine and common in nearly all walks of life.

,. Clothing that only a few years ago would have caused alarm and in some cases forcible change (plunging necklines, skin-tight dresses, baggy pants, T-shirts with obscenities) are now common and receive no reaction whatever.

,. Courtesy and civility toward others (holding doors open, eye contact, words like “thank-you” and “please”) has become rare and when they occur at all are often greeted with surprise and/or suspicion.

,. Humor today now seems to focus on subjects that were once considered sacred, private or taboo (God, sex, death, the bathroom).

,. Behaviors that not long ago would have caused deep embarrassment and in some cases a visit from the police (sodomy, abortion, addictions, living together without marriage) are now brazenly flaunted for all to see.

Hamlet said it well, “O shame! Where is thy blush?” The apostle Paul said it better: Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame (Philippians 3:19).

God created in us the ability to feel shame (and its close cousin, guilt) for the same reason that car manufacturers install warning lights on the dashboards of their automobiles. When working properly, the little red light alerts us to the fact that there is a potential problem under the hood that needs to be addressed—now! That little red light can be so annoying and may cause you to interrupt your plans, but what folly to ignore it, or worse, to disable it! But alas, that is precisely what our culture has done with shame. We have ignored the warning signal for so long that it now barely functions at all. And the unaddressed problem under the hood may bring wrath and destruction on us all.

What to do? A good place to begin is to feel shame for our shamelessness.

So, before it is too late, let’s ask God to restore to us the blessed gift of shame. When it is working properly, shame will lead us to the cross where Jesus took our guilt and shame on himself (Hebrews 12:2). His forgiveness enables us to find true dignity and grace as children of God. Those who trust in him will never be put to shame (Romans 9:33).

 

 

Man is the only animal that blushes—or needs to.

—Mark Twain

 

 

point to ponder The only sin that can’t be forgiven is the sin that is not confessed.

 

prayer focus The one who thinks “fig leaves” are sufficient to cover his shame.

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