One of my favorite bands is The Avett Brothers. I guess I’m a fan of “mountain music” as Alabama would say. A song that the Avett Brothers sing is a song titled “Shame.” It basically is about an individual who lost a relationship because they were guilty of thinking of other things and themselves rather than the person they should have be focused on. Throughout the song, they sing about having so much shame in their lives due to the actions they’ve taken. I feel this totally relates to Christians and especially college-age people.
In the book College Ministry from Scratch by Chuck Bomar, he discusses certain topics and ideas that college students deal with, one of those being shame and guilt. He says the following:
“If we don’t grasp an understanding of God’s grace and mercy, we’re in big trouble. Dealing with shame and guilt is the number one reason so many people slip into mediocre Christianity. Shame from sin causes people to disengage from the body of Christ and ministry.”
So, if shame and guilt is the major cause of mediocre Christianity, how can we fix it? Well, through some study and discussion with others, I am positive that it can be resolved. Through the book of Psalms we certainly have a view of this idea of shame. David, in Psalm 40:13-17, states that God puts to shame those that don’t look on Him and He delivers us if we seek Him.
We are all familiar with or have heard “The walk of shame.” If you haven’t or maybe forgot, according to the all knowing Wikipedia, “the walk of shame” is “a situation in which a person must walk past strangers or peers alone for an embarrassing reason before reaching a place of privacy. Most commonly, it occurs the morning after a night out at a bar, nightclub, or party.”
Now how many of us can definitely relate “the walk of shame” to our Christian life? Everyone, I’m sure. We have done things in our life and/or recently that we are not proud of and we have shame and guilt. Guilt is seeing what you’ve done, shame is seeing yourself as a failure. Let’s stop focusing on our past failure and start making a change. Use the example of the “Rich Young Ruler” in Mark 10:17-27 vs. the story of Zaccheus in Luke 19:1-10. The Rich Young Ruler left with shame because he did not stand with God, while Zaccheus had no shame and faced it straight on because he stood with God.
Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 7:25 – 8:1