“In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.” vs. 1
The psalmist has one big request of the Lord: that he would not ever be put to shame. It’s a petition that comes up again and again in the Psalms. For people in that time and culture, shame was closely connected to honor, and nothing could be more humiliating than to have one’s name be held up to shame and ridicule in the community. Even today in parts of the world where tribal traditions dominate, it is considered permissible for a parent to kill a child who brings dishonor to the family. While such a notion might seem reprehensible, most of us know how devastating it is to be shamed. For many, it’s a legacy of childhood, a gift from parents who thought shaming was a way to control a child’s behavior. Whatever the intention of those parents, the result is devastating and crushing to the ego of their children. It’s bad enough to carry a burden of guilt for the things that we know we’ve done wrong, but shame messes with our souls. It undermines the very essence of who we are. Shame makes us want to hide our faces and crawl in a hole…we begin to believe that we are un-loveable. Thank God that in Christ we are set free from both guilt and shame. No matter what we’ve done or how we’ve been made to feel, in Christ we have value and worth…and no one can ever take that away from us.
Thought for the Day: A time when I’ve felt shame.