“O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.” vss. 5-6
The psalmist prays with all his heart that he will be able to keep the statutes of the Lord and thereby avoid being put to shame. We shouldn’t doubt his sincerity…it reflects our own desire to lead a good and blameless life. And he rightfully names shame, the faithful partner of guilt, as a consequence of sin. And since no one is capable of perfection with regard to the law, we can presume that, despite his love of commandments, he was familiar with shame and guilt. In fact, the more emphasis we place on keeping the law, the more intensely we’ll feel the guilt that comes with our failures. Sadly some religious leaders and some parents have even come to believe that piling on shame will result in improved behavior. Many who have been beaten down by that unrelenting message have found relief only by abandoning religion altogether. What a delight it is for such persons when they hear the pure gospel of grace and discover that with confession, sin is forgiven and guilt is removed. There is no need for any person to stagger through life carrying those awful feelings of shame that come with sin. Through faith in Christ, those burdens are removed and we are set free to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in abundance.
Thought for the Day: What feelings of shame are hard for me to let go of?