Summary: This sermon deals with how the spirit of shame can contribute to wrong choices.
Jephthah did not let others get him down. He knew that his brothers were wrong when they rejected him. They told him that he would not have an inheritance. While attending the New Testament History class last month, at The College of Maasin we learned that illegitimate children would have an inheritance. They were lower on the totem pole to speak but they were higher than Gentiles. Even illegitimate children of priests were right underneath the Levites Tribe. Jephthah did not argue with his brothers and he simply went away.
He was not the first person in the Bible to be treated this way. You Jephthah was a son of a prostitute. He was being treated badly not because of anything he had done. It was the choice of his father going to a prostitute. His father was a moabite. So because of this shame his brothers pushed him away because he was born of a different mother.
Joseph was also mistreated not only was he born of a different mother, he was his father's favorite. As parents we need to treat our children similarly but not the same. We should not have favorites but it usually happens that there is a golden child and there is the scapegoat. Joseph was the golden child who later became a scape goat. His brothers sold him into slavery. He was sold into slavery because of jealousy and envy.
It could have been the same thing with Jephthah because he was a valiant warrior. The question we must answer this morning is How Do You See Yourself?
Do you see yourself a rejected person or do you have a Spirit of Shame?
Rejection will simply say I did something wrong and therefore, I am being rejected. A Spirit of Shame will say I am a bad person. This is important because how we see ourselves will determine the choices that we are willing to make. A person with a Spirit of Shame will tend to make more bad choices than good ones.
All of us tend to get mistreated at sometime in our life. Chuck Swindoll once said "It is not so much what happens to us that makes a difference; but how we respond to what happens to us." In spite of this rejection he Jephthah goes his way. He moves forward with his life.
There are those who are able to forgive and move on with their lives and then there are others who do not seem to get past their past. They keep going on how bad their life has been.
Many children complain to their parents how unfair they are; something doesn't go their way; they say that is unfair. Life is not fair; it will never be fair. Some people will always be more accepted than others.
What can we learn from being mistreated. There are four things that we can learn from our mistreatment: 1. We can learn to walk humbly with our Lord. 2. We can learn to empathize with people who are in similar situations 3. We are able to give godly advice because we have something that they don't have. We can show them Jesus Christ. 4. We can thank God for the lessons learned but we do not have to thank him for the experiences we have gone through.
In one of my foster homes I was abused very badly for seven years. Family services did not care what happened to us. I was even raped a few times while living in that home. This was not the last home that I had lived in. The last one was much better. However, the damage was done and it has taken many years for me to get past the past. I do not thank God for what I went through but the abuse did help me to be the pastor I have become. It has made me a better person. I thank God for the lessons that I learned.