We are a proud race.
We all try to look good to others.
Pastors are not exempt from this pride. We are not only playing to the congregation, but we are “competing” with other pastors around us. Pride is a wicked master. It focuses the camera on us and not on God, it responds to praise and avoids criticism. Pride is one of the reasons that honestly about our sins is so hard. We don’t want to deal with the results of sin in our lives.
The ugly side of pride is shame. Our pride makes us hide our sins so no one will know, no one will find out. In some way we think God doesn’t see either, but he does. And in the revelation of our sins shame comes. A shame that we have lost the admiration of others, but hopefully also a shame for what we have done. There are two sides to shame, the shame of loss and the shame of sin. One is healthy, the other is not. When sin is revealed and shame is part of our new reality the number one task is to come before God on our knees and share with God all that pride and sin have done. He already knows, but there is no better way to deal with shame than to open it up before God.
Shame dealt with well brings repentance. Shame dealt with badly is just another face of pride. When sin is revealed the best response for any of us is simply this, “Lord, I am the man. I deserved the cross you bore for me. Thank you that you have already forgiven me because of what Christ has done. I am sorry. Let this shame I feel bring me before you in repentance each time it comes and let me become one who rejoices in your grace once more.”
Use your shame rightly. Realize there are two sides to this thing called shame. One is an aspect of pride that wants to hide what we have done. The other is a right response to our sin and makes room for the restoration God wants to accomplish in our lives.
You need to know that shame is a healthy part of any sin. It’s how you respond to the shame you feel that makes such a difference in the outcome of your life and walk with God.