Shameful Actions

Written by Sheila Hughes
Wrong thoughts can be so strong
They often make us feel superior,
We compare and judge our neighbor
And shun those with a sinful exterior.

We then become a sinner as well
In the sinful way that we act,
By our keeping them at arm’s length
Kind treatment of them we lacked.

Hate can keep everyone divided;
Weighs us down with a heavy load,
Jesus came to show us what’s right
From our Father, He’s of the same mold.

Shame and guilt damages self-worth,
Bogs us down from moving along,
It can rob us each day of our joy
Makes us feel like we don’t belong.

Even Jesus was rejected by some
To them, He could not be a friend,
They refused to remove dark blinders
Didn’t allow Him their sins to mend.
Shame is something none of us want to feel around those who know us. We all have sinned and need forgiveness, but some people refuse to forget and keep sinners at arm’s length. They shut them out of their lives. People are hard to change. The pure Jew didn’t want anything to do with the Samaritan. God commanded the Jews not to intermarry with people of other countries who worshipped idols. The Samaritans did and were viewed by the Jew as a mongrel who had their own religion and mixed customs. The Samaritans didn’t abandon the Mosaic law entirely, but they kept a watered-down version of it, adding in pagan religious rituals. The Samaritans offered to help rebuild Jerusalem after their Babylonian captivity, but that offer was refused by the Jews. (Ezra 4) The Samaritans were offended so much that they decided to build a temple of their own on Mount Gerizim where they could worship God, which no doubt offended God too, since they included worship of other gods too. (Deut. 27:12, 2 Kings 17:27-34 Quest Study Bible NIV footnote, John 4:19-20) Samaritans didn’t believe in the resurrection or in angels. Some Pharisees hated them so much they even prayed that not one Samaritan would be raised in the resurrection. Even some Jewish men would thank God that they were not a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. So, the Jews weren’t any better in their actions toward certain others who were both Jews and Gentiles.

Shame has a bad effect on our self-worth. The guilt of what a sinner has done weighs heavily enough on their minds without being rejected as well. Jesus came to teach all these people the wrong in how they treated each other. He would die, He would forgive, He would restore them to the Father. He also would provide resurrection for those who believed in Him. It’s hard to change people’s minds and hateful actions, therefore, a lot of people, including Jesus, were rejected. Christ saw beyond the barriers of that day and deep into the heart of the broken lives. He felt compassion and love and wanted to save all who were lost in their sins. He showed love to the unloved. Sin blinds us all at times.

We need to do the same as Jesus today of forgiving those who are carrying around with them shame and guilt due to their wrong-doing. Please don’t shut them out and reject them, for we all sin. Don’t hold them at arm’s length, embrace them and try to be a true friend to them. Our actions can either kill or help save others. You are not better than others. Model Jesus and show compassion and love toward the hurting. Our kind actions toward someone can help to change them.

Sheila Wells Hughes, June 17, 2022, # 1,095

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