Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Knowing How to Blush

Today's Reading:
Jeremiah 4:19-6:15
Revelation 6:1-17
Proverbs 2:1-11
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Focus Verses: Jeremiah 6:15-16
15 Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them," says the LORD. 16 This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." But you said, "We will not walk in it."

"Shame on you!" is not a phrase I hear very often anymore. No one ever wants to feel ashamed, and so the whole idea of shame is not generally valued. We hear about shame-based or guilt-based methods of manipulation: "He was shamed into that." In fact, these days you should probably feel ashamed if you do or say anything that makes someone else feel guilt or shame.

While shame and guilt can be unhealthy and used for wrong or selfish reasons, we shouldn't forget that there are times when shame and guilt are appropriate. To forget how to blush, or be blind to personal guilt, is to be oblivious to our sin and our need for forgiveness and direction.

Response and Action:
I will humble myself before God and honestly acknowledge my wrongs. I want to cultivate a soft heart that is able to feel shame when I do the wrong thing. I will turn to God's word to find the ancient path of truth and righteousness. I will commit myself to walk in it.

O Lord, show me your ways. Guide me in your paths and teach me. Thank you for forgiving me when I am guilty. Thank you for taking away my shame and for giving me hope. Thank you for giving me the capacity to feel shame and guilt. Use them to draw me to you for the redemption and healing I need. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Psalm 25:4-9
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. 8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

Never Beyond Hope: How God Touches and Uses Imperfect People
by J. I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom

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