We often struggle to preserve our name so as not to be besmirched. This is especially so since we are living in a world that is very scrutinizing. People tend to scrutinize all of our words and actions, hoping that we will say or do something that will cause us to stumble and be put to shame. While there seems to be no foolproof way of protecting our name, it is best that we go with what the Bible prescribes. In his Psalm, King David said, “No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause” (Psalm 25:3). Certainly, God will not disappoint those who trust in him but will uphold them with his mighty hands. This hope is not just a matter of trying to put on a bold front and trusting in our own strength and ability, but trusting fully in the one who is able keep us from falling – the Lord Jesus Christ. He promised never to leave us nor forsake us even in the most difficult situations that we will find ourselves in.
In expressing his confidence that God will never put him to shame, the apostle Paul, in the midst of his struggles, said, “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day” (2 Tim. 1:12). Regardless of what we may go through, our confidence in the Lord should be unshakable. Our trials and sufferings are not reasons for us to be put to shame if we remain focused on the Lord. And for as long as we hold on to the Word of the Lord, we shall triumph in the end for he will use the same trials and difficulties to be our stepping stone to greater success.
In encouraging us to be more circumspect in our actions, and thus avoid humiliation, Jesus gave this instruction, “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honour, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place” (Luke 14:8-9). It is when we try to lift ourselves beyond measure that we are put to shame. It is better for us to take a lowly stand so that God himself will exalt us in due time. Therefore, when others compete to get recognition, let us give way and yield our rights. We should always remember that God resists the prod but gives grace to the humble.
While holding on to our faith in the Lord will save us from shame, it does not come without cost. Jesus said, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish’” (Luke 14:28-30). We may be criticized for the stand we take, but we should be willing to go through it regardless of the cost. Indeed, this might even cost us our friendships or jobs, but we should be ready to pay the price. If we compromise and yield to the pressure of this world, there is no other way to go but toward failure and shame.
It is when we do not walk in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ that we should be ashamed of what we are doing and saying. The apostle John declared, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (John 3:19-21). Clearly, there is no reason for believers to be ashamed with what they do in the light. While they will be subjected to strict scrutiny because their every word and action is exposed in the light, they shall be found to be faultless for they walk securely in the promises of the Lord. Their trials and difficulties will turn out for their good for God is able to make his grace abound towards those whose life is fully dedicated to him.
Friends, let us put our trust in the Lord. He alone can keep us from falling into shame. His Word will sustain us and give us the confidence to live this life, unashamed of the trials and difficulties that we will face. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” Praise the Lord!