“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16).
Being ashamed is never a pleasant feeling. The experience of shame is one that leaves us uncomfortable around others and clinging to the safety of our inner being. The word that Paul uses in Romans 1:16 is the same word he uses in his second letter to Timothy. In 2 Timothy 1:8 Paul urges Timothy, “. . . do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord . . .”
The original word for ashamed means “to experience a painful feeling or sense of loss of status because of some particular event or activity.” We often associate this word with a negative aspect of a person’s life. For example, when someone has committed a sin that is public in nature, we say they have brought shame upon themselves, their family and their church family. This sin may cause one to feel ashamed. When one is “ashamed”, they tend to avoid others, choosing rather to confine themselves to the emotional safety of their personal domain.
So imagine what that looks like when one is “ashamed” of the gospel! How can we fulfill the mission that God has given us if we are avoiding others, retreating to our personal domain? Paul says, “Don’t be ashamed!”
Are you concerned more with your sense of status before God or man? We must challenge ourselves to have the kind of faith that drives us to boldly proclaim the message of reconciliation unashamedly!
~~ Keith Harris, Windsong church of Christ Little Rock, AR