Ashamed, Embarrassed, and Humiliated

As I have grown up and grown older I have had many emarrassing experiences. I tell those stories now and they usually bring a laugh from those listening.

One of them was when I walked into a woman’s restroom because I wasn’t paying attention, and went into a toilet stall, locked the door and then heard the sound of high heels clicking on the hard tile floor as a bunch of ladies entered all at once. I wasn’t sure what to do as ladies pulled on the handle of my locked door looking for an empty stall. I realized that if they looked under the partition they would see my cowboy boots and I would be discovered. I could just imagine a lady yelling “pervert! Pervert!” at the top of her lungs. So I got up on the lid of the toilet and squatted down hiding until they had all left and I managed to sneak out without being discovered. Whoooeeee that was close. As I squatted there on that toilet these prayers from Psalms came to my mind.

Psalms 31:17 Let me not be put to shame, O Lord, for I call upon You;

Psalms 25:2 O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.

Psalms 71:1 In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed.

The human psyche is difficult to understand regarding motives, fears, and the need for personal worth or glory. Many verses in the Bible talk about shame and our fear of it. It appears that shame is the first emotion that Adam and Eve felt after their sin, and we all have been feeling it ever since. We will do just about anything to escape or prevent the experience of shame in our life.

Many of the self-protective methods that people have used to guard against shame in their life are wrong, unwise, and will often compound shame if discovered. Some of those methods are lying, blaming others, boasting, hiding, anti-social behavior, and running away, literally and figuratively.

One of the consequences of sin in our life is shame and freedom from shame is a reward that we receive from God when we seek Him and stay close to Him. God’s protection from shame is an often repeated prayer in the Bible suggesting that He can prevent shame or cause and allow shame to come into our life.

A major blessing that God gives to us as a reward for right living is that He fills us with glory or self worth. Very few people have discovered or realize that God gives and takes away a sense of significance as a motive to seek Him, to live for Him, and to obey Him. He does that with experiences that He either brings into our life or prevents from happening.

It is enlightening to collect all the verses in the Bible on shame and read them all together. There are over a dozen prayers to God asking Him to deliver from or protect from shame and embarrassment.

Many of our fears in life aren’t primarily fear of physical pain, but fear of psychological pain caused from shame. I think that is why most Christians do very little witnessing for Christ, we fear that we will somehow be embarrassed.

The more time we spend with God in the Word and in prayer the more courage we will have and we will not be intimidated by possible embarrassing experiences.

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