Have you ever been ashamed of something? Maybe you have a dream you’ve never told anyone about, or a secret passion or hobby. Maybe you have a certain conviction or stance that you’re afraid will make you unpopular or uncool, that you’re afraid will turn you into an outcast, that will cause people to reject and avoid you. Maybe you suffer from something you’re afraid people won’t understand, that will make them see you differently.
Whatever the case may be, there are often things in our lives we keep secret, we hide from others because we’re afraid of what others may think. We’re ashamed. Sadly, many times we can view sharing our faith in the same way. Today, it seems more and more Christians are ashamed of the gospel. Often, we’re afraid to share the gospel because the world is increasingly hostile and negative toward believers. We don’t speak up because we don’t want to be seen as intolerant or bigoted; we don’t want to be “on the wrong side of history.”
The truth is most of us are obsessed with what others will think about us. Social media definitely doesn’t help with this. Think about it . . . how often do we “do it for the Gram”? How often do we check our phone to see how many likes or comments we got on a photo, post, or video? How do we feel when we get attacked in the comments section or get nasty messages from trolls?
We have become so caught up in worrying about others opinions of us. This is pride, friends. This is a self-centered, me-focused mentality. It puts ME at the forefront and forgets about everyone else. We get so consumed with what they think of us that that we fail to take their salvation into consideration.
If we really believe that the message of Jesus is true, that the gospel is the good news and hope of every person in the world, that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, that He offers security for eternity and satisfaction for today, then how could we let anything hold us back from sharing our faith, especially something like shame?!
Jesus gives us this analogy: “No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.”
In this analogy, the light or candle is the gospel message. We can choose to either display the gospel and provide light to everyone around us, or we can choose to hide our light under the couch.
Don’t be ashamed of the gospel! Be like Paul who said in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel.” But listen to why Paul wasn’t ashamed and why he says we should NEVER feel shame about the gospel: “Because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.”
We don’t have to worry about being on the wrong side of history when it comes to the gospel of our Savior. We never have to worry about being disgraced by the grace of God. We don’t have to be crippled by fear of what someone may think of us. In the verses leading up to this, Paul talks about coming to Rome to preach to Greeks and non-Greeks, to wise and foolish, to anyone he’s given the opportunity to speak to. It didn’t matter who he stood before, he wasn’t ashamed to share the gospel. Paul was stoned, imprisoned, and rejected by many for his boldness. But none of that mattered. Why? Because the gospel of Jesus is the only thing with the power to save and transform, “for in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last” (Romans 1:17). And if Paul had the opportunity to reach even one person with the gospel, it was worth it, and no amount of shame was going to stop him.
If we truly believe that Jesus gives eternal life, then why should we not share this good news? Advancing the gospel is the greatest thing we can do!
Today, let’s pray that we would have this heart toward the gospel . . . the same gospel that tells us that when we were shameful and sinful, God was not ashamed of us. Instead, He subjected Himself to shame and disgrace in order to shower us with His good and glorious grace.