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Shame is an essential worker
Pastor Mike Novotny
by Pastor Mike Novotny
November 2, 2023

This might seem odd to say, but shame is an essential worker in the kingdom of God. If the sinful actions that came from the sinful desires of your sinful heart never grieve or humiliate you, you might be in a dangerous spiritual place. This is why the prophet Jeremiah lamented, “Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush” (6:15). Blushing isn’t always bad. There are times, according to God, when we should be ashamed.

During my first years of ministry, I met the strip club fiancé. A young woman from our church got engaged to a guy who, right there in the pastor’s office, locked eyes, grinned, and told me (and his bride-to-be) that he liked strip clubs. He was not ashamed. Later, I saw them in the parking lot. While I couldn’t hear their words, I could see her slumped shoulders and hanging head. Their relationship couldn’t survive when he felt no shame for his shameful acts.

A relationship with God is the same way. While Jesus knows that you will struggle with many sins in many ways, he wants you to be ashamed of them. So if you have chosen your way instead of God’s way, if you have talked back to the mother who sacrificed so much for you, if you get more excited about a game than God, blush about it. Sin is shameful, so be ashamed.

You will find that our gracious Savior will lift up your head and take your shame away.