No shame, imagined

 Wearing a cross: shame redeemed?

Wearing a cross: shame redeemed?

I cling to pride even though I never would have thought myself very prideful.

Shame is pride’s offspring.  We know we are proud whenever we feel shame. Shame cannot exist without pride.

Was reading Psalm 26 by David when the phrase in the NIV “be put to shame” caught my attention.  I was particularly struck by verse 3 when David claims:

“No one who hopes in you (God) will ever be put to shame”
— Psalm 25:3a, NIV

Ever?  As in never?

What about verse 2 when David wrote, “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me?” (Psalm 25:2)“

Is David wishy-washy or is he simply admonishing himself to always resolve to trust in the Lord so that, among other benefits, he will not be put to shame?  He concludes the Psalm with another reminder:

“Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.”
— Psalm 25:20

I relate to David’s struggle. I revere God too but sometimes shame weighs heavy on me.

While David had much to be proud about - warrior, hero, musician, king, author, he is also open about his weakness and sinfulness.  Note verses 7 and 11 where he asks to be judged by God’s character not his own.   Really proud people would rarely say anything like that.

BibleGateway produced 147 uses of the word “shame” in the NIV including 52 variations on the phrase “put to shame.”  While the very first mention occurs before the first sin, when “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25), most of those mentions regard the shame of those who have little or no regard for God.

How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? (Psalm 4:2)

Even a cursory study of shame in the Bible clearly shows shame presented as a primary  language and manner of the world.  

Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.

To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.
— Jeremiah 6:15a and Proverbs 18:13

Modern life holds this to be as true as ever.  In stark contrast is God’s assurance as echoed above by David and elsewhere:

“As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him (the Lord) will never be put to shame.”’
— Romans 10:11 referencing Isaiah 28:16

Never?  Imagine never experiencing shame, especially in 2017?

Here’s another never to bank on - that God doesn’t leave us to depend on imagining what never/ever experiencing shame looks like.  In answer, he sent his son Jesus to model life that drew completely from God and completely disregarded every other influence. (See Philippians 2:7, ESV)

Every person and being who came against Jesus failed to put him to shame.  Jesus’ ultimate triumph over shame was when...

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
— Hebrews 12:2, NIV

While the cross was for a moment in history associated with one of the most diabolical execution methods ever conceived by humanity, today it is a symbol of redemption, not to mention an adornment,.

Imagine forsaking pride and never again suffering shame?  Imagine drawing life only from the Lord and giving no other person or being or idea a foothold for pride or shame to take root?

Thanks to Jesus, we don’t have to imagine.


Image source: wearing a cross