Stop The Shame
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.—2 Timothy 1:8
I am tired of shame.
I experienced it a lot when I was younger, and for some reason, I thought there would be a day it would come to an end. I thought as I grew, the experiences with shame and how people weaponized it against me would go away. But that hasn't been the case. Even over the last year, there has been more weaponizing of shame in our culture, resulting in increasing fear, silencing, canceling, and dismissing than ever before. And it has brought back these feelings from my youth. But what's interesting about shame is that it might initiate with a person externally, but it echos internally, sometimes over long periods of time. And if I ruminate on it too long, momentary shame turns to feelings of disgust, defeat, and depression, which some will use to control or oppress me. And without a doubt, you have experienced this too. Or even worse, you have used shame to oppress others.
But I am tired of shame. I am tired of it.
In this text, Paul tells his young protege to "not be ashamed." And as we discover in this text, some were ashamed of both Paul and the gospel message.
Here is the context. Paul was now in prison in Rome, probably for the second time, and this repetitive pattern of imprisonment was bringing to bear some shame on Paul, the church, and the message. Because of this, those who oppressed Christians were now using this negative propaganda and weaponizing it against them. Some Christians in response were disassociating and canceling Paul along with his message. But Paul is telling Timothy to stand strong against cancel culture. He wants him to take a stand against this propaganda of shame, as it's nothing to be ashamed of at all. In fact, it was meant to cancel the message and the testimony of the risen Lord.
In our present time, we as have a tremendous opportunity. It's an opportunity to do exactly what Paul is encouraging Timothy to do. To stand against weaponized shame with holy pride. Not a pride in and of ourselves, but pride in the message and our testimony of Jesus Christ. We need to stand tall about what we believe and why we believe it. And we need to learn to suffer through this challenge as weaponized shame and cancel culture increases. So today, tell the unashamed story of how God has worked in you. It's the story of a Lord who has transformed us. And as you tell it, know that there are others out there too who are just as tired as we are, looking for freedom from a world of sin and shame.
ASK THIS: What feeling of shame have you recently experienced? (Share it in the comments below)
DO THIS: Read this verse and believe it. "Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2
PRAY THIS: God, as Jesus despised the shame, help me to do the same.
PLAY THIS: Mandisa. Shame Off.
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