Shame – an obstacle to preaching the Gospel (Good News) of Christ – Part 1
Luke 9:26 – For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.
Shame is one of the major obstacles to sharing and receiving the gospel. Shame is defined as a feeling of fear which prevents someone from doing something. It is a feeling of fear of the possibility of loss of respect. Shame comes as a result of fear and fear paralyses when allowed to do so. Some of the causes of shame in this case include:
Fear of loss respect, position, power, dignity
Pressure from peers, popular culture and community
The quest to retain cheap popularity
Misplaced priority and ignorance or lack of clarity of the power of the gospel
To avoid name calling and mockery
Please be aware that Christ has redeemed us from shame and the fear of shame. In John 9, Jesus healed a blind man and when the people saw him he told them that Jesus had healed him. But the Pharisees would have none of it. They were angry for two reasons, one because the healing took place on the Sabbath and two because they didn’t want people to accept Jesus as the Christ. They went to the blind man’s parents to ask them how their son got healed but the parents declined to declare that Jesus Christ healed their son because they were afraid of being thrown out of the synagogue for calling Jesus the Christ or appreciating him as the healer. They told the Pharisees to ask their son as he was mature enough to answer the question himself. The man was not ashamed. He answered them without fear and they threw him out of the synagogue. What a shame.
Afterwards Jesus went out and found the man and revealed himself to the man as the Messiah. Whoa! What a great ending! Jesus did not reveal himself to the parents, he revealed himself to the man who was not ashamed.
We all face the challenge of shame in preaching the good news of Jesus Christ and we have to pass the test to enter into the manifestation phase of our ministry. We have preached the good news in the town where I live for over nine years and we have been called several names and sometimes ostracised. And of course, we were tempted to be ashamed for being called names for trying to help people but we did not give up, we kept at it. Today, we have impacted our community so much that many now want to be associated with us. Recently the lifeboat club called us to dedicate their new boat for them. The local school now invites us to participate in their events. People from neighbouring towns now want to connect with us because of the impact that we are making. But this would not have happened if we had allowed shame to erode our confidence and deter us from preaching the gospel.
Yes, it was painful at the beginning not to get the kind of response we wanted but we stayed with it and we were persistent with it and today we are reaping the rewards of souls into the kingdom.
The following are some of the ways to develop confidence and achieve success in preaching the gospel:
Ask for the help of the Holy Spirit and pray for confidence
Be aware of the possible challenges
Get good teaching and development on the presentation of the good news.
Have clarity of what the good news is and first be convinced
See things from the perspective of the person you are trying to reach and present the good news with that in mind
Remember, good news is relative to people’s current circumstances
1 Corinthians 9:16, 2 Timothy 1:7-8
Personal declaration for the day
I will give the good news in a good way. I will meet people on their level and give them hope and the future that God has provided for them.
Questions for you to reflect on
How much do you believe in the power and necessity of the gospel?
On your list of priorities, where does the good news of Jesus Christ come?
How did you come to your conclusion?