Summary: Shame often hinders our effectiveness as Christians.
How To Become An Effective Christian
“DO NOT BE ASHAMED!”
It’s safe to say that we all have embarrassing moments that we’d like to forget…
A woman told of a time when she was in high school and musical car horns were popular. Her mother’s deluxe car horn model played the first line of 48 different songs. But when it was extremely cold, the horn sometimes developed a short and played on its own. She had urged her mother to take the horn out of the car, but her mother had refused to get rid of it. Then on a fateful cold winter afternoon the family was attending a graveside funeral service for an elderly aunt. As they were pulling out of the cemetery, the horn blared the first stanza of “We’re In The Money”. The horn was never heard again.
A lady was giving a dinner party and had prepared a pasta dish for the meal. In her haste, however, she forgot to refrigerate the spaghetti sauce, and it sat on the counter all day. She was worried about spoilage, but it was too late to cook up another batch. She called the local Poison Control Center and voiced her concern. They advised her to boil the spaghetti sauce again. Later that night, the phone rang during dinner and one of the guests volunteered to answer it. The guest’s face dropped as the called out, “It’s the Poison Control Center. They want to know how the spaghetti sauce turned out.”
A man and his wife met a new couple at church one Sunday, and they stopped and introduced themselves. They described the friendly neighborhood they lived in and listened sympathetically as the new couple described their neighborhood as just the opposite. The man and his wife said goodbye to the new couple and got in their car and drove home. As they approached their house, they were horrified to see that their new found friends they had met at church were pulling into the driveway next door.
Embarrassment, shame, guilt; we could all share different experiences when we felt these emotions. Sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s not. I find it very interesting that as we read through the New Testament that we are warned and encouraged not to the let the temptation of being ashamed of or being embarrassed about our Savior get the better of us. Oddly enough, an obstacle that often hinders our effectiveness as Christians is shame. We become embarrassed to be associated with Jesus Christ and other Christians, whether it be by peer pressure or by the unfortunate acts or situations of few people. We feel shame because of who we are and what we stand for.
As we continue our message series out of II Timothy tonight, Paul gives Timothy and us some sound advice on becoming effective Christians. He says, “Do not be ashamed!” Let’s read II Timothy 1:8-18:
“So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life- not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. What you have heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you- guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.”