Thursday, April 22, 2010

2010 – April 22 – Shame By Association

Study from God’s Word Psalms 61, 62, 64, and 69 … Passage for Reflection: Psalm 69: 5 – 6 … NIV 5 You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you. 6 May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the LORD Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel.

My Journal for Today: Arguably, reading today’s highlight passage, we may be seeing one of the character examples of why God saw David as “… a man after God’s own heart.” In this passage, though I could not uncover exactly the time it was written, David clearly acknowledges that he has weaknesses and can be a man of “folly” or “foolishness,” which was certainly later born out in his life by the encounter with Bathsheba. But here, he recognizes the truth that no sin or foolish decision or action is hidden from God; and also, that our sinful choices can – an often do – affect others.

Here David is praying ardently that whatever his sins are, … whatever his bad decisions might be, that those sin choices or poor decisions will not bring shame on others. On a number of occasions in the past decade, we’ve seen very prominent Christian figures being uncovered in patterns of deviant sexual sin, which has brought public “shame” upon the name of Christ in the public arena. It’s what Dr. Smith describes today as the “domino theory,” which is often applied in science, business, or politics; and we can easily imagine a serpentine row of dominos falling because one is dislodged to topple the next one beside it. And that happens in life, and in Christendom, when even one public Christian leader is uncovered doing something foolish or sinful in the public eyes. As the dominos fall, it is thought by non-Christians, “Well, they all must be like that if their leaders are like that.”

We have to ask ourselves what Dr. Smith hits at with his devotional today; and the question is What choice or public decision I make would bring shame or disgrace to my family or allow others, especially those who don’t know Christ at all, to see my Lord in a darkened way?

Most certainly Christ undertook the shame of all mankind when He was publicly and unjustly mocked, ridiculed, and hung on that tree on Calvary. But He did that so that I could have the saving and enabling grace (i.e., power) to resist sinful, even foolish, choices and to avoid bringing shame on His name or others who love me or look up to me.

Oh, how I pray that God’s mercy and grace will allow me to avoid having shame brought upon any who look to me as husband, parent, or “Christian” leader. I certainly recognize, as did David, that I’m one choice away from doing great harm or shame upon the Name of Christ or upon my family. So, I must be ever vigilant, recognizing my folly is before me; and I MUST draw upon the power of Christ Himself to help me to discern evil and to make Godly choices which reflect glory upon His Name.

My Prayer for Today: LORD, help me to be Your light and to avoid darkness in my life. Amen

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