Shame. Embarrassment. These are not words we like applied to us. I have never met anyone who wants to feel ashamed. I have met many people who have gone to the most extraordinary lengths to avoid it.
Paul in his second letter to Timothy¹ writes to say “Do not be ashamed” (2 Timothy 1:8a NRSV). If only it was simply a matter of reading a letter and never being ashamed again. Paul isn’t suggesting not being ashamed is a matter of will power but rather it is the result of not being timid. My simple definition of “timid” is “knowing what you need to say or do but being too afraid to say or do it.” Paul tells us God never gave us a spirit of timidity but rather a spirit of power in the context of love and self-discipline. If we make use of this power to do what we know we need to do or say, in a loving and self-disciplined way I hasten to add, we will not be put in a position of being ashamed. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy but it is never shameful.
“Not ashamed” Knox Presbyterian (to download, right click and select “Save Link As . . .”)
“Not ashamed” St. Mark’s Presbyterian (to download, right click and select “Save Link As . . .”)
¹I quite enjoyed reading some of the scholarly work done which strongly suggests Paul did not write this letter but I think we can safely live with the tradition that says he did.
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