Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals from August 17-23 are provided by Pastor Yohan Lee of Radiance Christian Church (S.F.).
Devotional Thoughts for Today
1 Kings 8:10-13
And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover,’ but[a] the Lord has shown me that he shall certainly die.”11 And he fixed his gaze and stared at him, until he was embarrassed. And the man of God wept. 12 And Hazael said, “Why does my lord weep?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the people of Israel. You will set on fire their fortresses, and you will kill their young men with the sword and dash in pieces their little ones and rip open their pregnant women.” 13 And Hazael said, “What is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing?” Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you are to be king over Syria.”
Do you have friends who fit the description, “He has no shame?” (I hope you aren’t one of them.) Let me describe this type of person: a friend with no shame will consistently come over for dinner unannounced; he is generally looking for freebies; he does not filter his conversation topics; and he can generally be counted on to do uncouth things in social settings. Sometimes shameless people are so because they are socially clueless, but others are this way because they simply don’t care what others think. Sometimes, I wish I were like the latter group.
I used to think that shame was something that I suffered because I was insecure in some aspect of my life. So if I was ashamed to talk about my faith at work, it would probably be because I was insecure in myself and my relationship with Christ, and I didn’t want my co-workers to think of me as some religious fanatic. So I always just assumed that as I grew in the Lord, feeling embarrassed and the fear of shame would slowly be crucified in the cross. However, as I look at today’s passage, I realize that there are redemptive qualities to shame. What we see in this passage is that when Hazael was confronted with the sin he was planning, he was so embarrassed he could not even look at Elisha. Unfortunately, not even the shame he felt stopped him from assassinating Ben-Hadad, but the point is that sometimes when we are about to commit sin, there can be a feeling of shame and embarrassment. We also see that after Adam and Eve fall in Genesis 3, they attempt to cover themselves, as they feel shame for the first time.
Ultimately, I don’t think that the fear of being embarrassed should be our primary motivation for living a good life in Christ, but to be completely truthful, every once in a while, we all need a little fear to motivate us. If you have been struggling with something in your life, and the love of Christ is not having the effect it should, maybe you should try thinking of how embarrassing it would be to explain later. For example, if you surf too much internet at work, consider how embarrassing it would be to tell your boss that the quarterly report is late because you were too busy working a trade for your fantasy football team. If we are going to feel shame, let’s at least redeem it for God’s glory!
Lord, the truth is, that because of your righteousness which You give to me, I have nothing to be ashamed. Today, help me to live in a way that honors You.
Bible Reading for Today: Ephesians 4
Lunch Break Study
In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
2 I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
4 Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
Questions to Consider
- What do you think the psalmists means when he says that “No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame?” Is it literal or spiritual?
- What is the theme of verses 4-7? How is this related to shame?
- Many times Christians do feel shame for their faith. Some will feel the persecution of standing for Christ in this country, while others have had to suffer undignified treatment because of faith in Christ. Shame before man and shame before God can be two different things. Those who trust in God will never have to stand before Him ashamed.
- Continuing on the point above, those who live rightly before the Lord and hope in Him will never have to stand before the Lord ashamed as even their sins will not be counted against them (v. 7).
Did you walk with integrity today? Did you work an honest day and honor the Lord in all you did and said? Was there anything for which you were embarrassed? Do you see the Lord’s grace even in your shortcomings and are you secure as His child?