Have you ever felt sad and ashamed for someone? You see them do something that is without a doubt a huge mistake and despite your thinking they would know better than to do what ever it is, they do it anyway. Almost running head long into a bad situation whether that be using drugs, alcohol, or some other behavior or environment that is going to cause them harm, physical, spiritual, emotional, financial or any other way that one can suffer from bad decisions. Maybe a combination of two or more things that will compound the harm the suffering that results from their actions. You feel sad that they made bad decisions. You feel sad for them because you know that they will feel pain, suffering, heartache, loss of some sort and if others are like me, sad that you can’t do something to prevent what is going to happen, maybe sooner, maybe later, but undoubtedly bad things will come for them and all you can do is pray for them that they do something to minimize the impact in their live. It’s like seeing someone walk out onto the ice when you KNOW it is too thin to hold them and maybe they will get by for a while, but sooner or later the ice will break. You are concerned for them and feel the worry and sadness for what you know they will experience.
But, at the same time you feel sad, you feel ashamed for them. Its important to distinguish between being ashamed of and ashamed for a person. When one is ashamed of a person, that indicates that one feels shame for being associated with that person but feeling ashamed for them indicates that one feels badly for the person and feels shame for them, basically feeling the shame that the person that is doing whatever thing that caused the feelings. In a manner, the person feeling ashamed for someone is assuming the shame for the deed that was done. But, the person does something that is wrong and they know it was wrong. They proceed down whatever path they chose and when something that they absolutely know better than to do, they do it and not only do they not only act not ashamed of their actions, sometimes they almost act proud of themselves. It seems amazing to see some people that were raised in church do some things, it seems stranger that they don’t act embarrassed about their deeds, and even stranger that they act as if they have no regret, remorse when they know the truth and take steps in wrong directions. Despite all they know to be the truth, they seem to be ignoring the truth they know and pretend they shouldn’t feel as if they are doing something wrong. I guess in some ways it is like being at some sort of social gathering and someone is drinking alcohol, but not just having one, they have several and get intoxicated. I know when I see people that get intoxicated, I get embarrassed for them, due to their behavior. They think they are funny, great dancers, charming and they are far from any of those things. It’s sad to see them behave as they do and knowing what others are seeing and thinking, yeah, I feel ashamed for them.
For your shame [ye shall have] double; and [for] confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them. Isaiah 61:7
I have had people I know that have done things that put them in wrong situations, the actions leading to the situation are wrong and others that know them will sometimes start to ask why did they do that and then at times give opinions and observations and will say things that are usually combinations of: sadness, pity, embarrassment for the person/s in question, anger, frustration and a multitude of other feelings about the person and actions. Now, in a manner this is gossiping and I don’t participate in gossiping and will usually try to stop it. Recently there was a situation with someone that almost everyone that knows them and about what was done are certain they did a horrible thing and the way in which they did it was just as bad, and a lot of people that know them and know I know them as well have started talking about it, and some of the person’s other behavior and asking me about it, sometimes saying very critical things about the person. Well, I know a lot about the situation, because some involved have told me more details than I ever cared to know but I don’t tell anyone what I know as it isn’t my place to tell someone else’s business and because one should not gossip and even if what I know is the truth if I were to tell someone and only give them facts. That person will likely tell someone, who tells another, and then another and with humans, almost every time something is told there are little changes, not necessarily intentionally, but usually there are subtle changes that can change what is believed to be facts and if I were to contribute in any way I feel I would be possibly contributing to untrue things being said about others. Also, even if truth and only truth is told about it, if the truth reflects negatively on someone, it isn’t my place to do that. If people see a persons actions and develop a negative opinion of a person because they choose to judge, that is between the person judging and God.
When I have dealt with this type of situation in the past, there has also been hurt. Feeling hurt for the suffering that one knows will eventually occur. But, whatever happens as the final outcome, the biggest hurt is knowing that whichever person is involved is doing something that is driving a wedge between themselves and God. Concern that these people won’t recognize the problems until it is too late. I also feel bad when I see these people do things that destroy the credibility of their Christian walk and witness. Due to poor choices and wrong actions they take, they potentially risk making people think that if that is how a Christian behaves, then living a Christian life is not really very much.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
I wish I could say I haven’t caused others to feel sad and ashamed for me due to my actions. I have before and at the time, due to wrong thinking and attitudes, I didn’t care. I didn’t care if what I was doing was hurtful to my parents or others and I didn’t care that I was doing things that were offensive to God. Thankfully, He is a merciful and forgiving God and can help us see what we are doing that we shouldn’t do, forgive us when we confess and ask Him for salvation.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
When it comes to seeing things others do that cause those feelings, I wish I could actually do something to make them see that they are doing wrong for themselves and displeasing God in the process. But, one cannot cause someone to see what they choose not to see. All one can do is pray that God show them and work in their hearts to help them know and correct, what needs corrected.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Romans 10:11
Lord, I praise You for showing me my shameful ways. I am so sorry for the shame I brought too others, and for the way I made others feel ashamed for me. As well as the hurt and sorrow I caused them. And for disappointing You with those action. I thank You for being there, merciful and gracious, forgiving me when I confessed my failures. I pray in Jesus name that others that are now doing, or have done, things that are not in accordance with Your will and causing shame recognize their shortcomings and then take the steps You want them to take in order to please You. Please, draw us all closer to You so we not only correct wrong behavior, but realize before we do those things. Help us all be better servants and witnesses for you. Also, help us to not be ashamed of You due to our simple human minds and attitudes.
Thanks for your time. I hope you are a blessing to someone today and have a blessed day.