The Burden of the Believer
For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face. I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons; for zeal for your house consumes me and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
— Psalm 69:7-9
When Paul said in Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel”, he did not mean that he was not shamed because of the gospel. As believers in Christ we are unashamed, meaning that we willfully accept the shame brought about on account of living and testifying to the gospel. “Bigot, close-minded, exclusive, extreme, intolerant, fanatical, ignorant”… we willfully receive the insults of those who insult God because we know the truth, and the truth has set us free.
If you have never been shamed on account of the gospel, ask yourself why. Is it because you look and act just like the world? Is it because you are silent about God? Is it because you have compromised the gospel in order to not sound offensive? Is it because you may fear the insults of man more than you fear rejection from God? Do not purposely look to be shamed by acting in pride, arrogance or anger; but ask God to search your heart so that you can testify to the truth in humility and love. When you are shamed for standing up for God’s truth, accept it because of your zeal for God’s house.
Heavenly Father, search my heart so that I can live and testify to the gospel in humility and love. Give me a willing heart to withstand the insults of those who insult you. Give me the endurance to be unashamed when those who hate the truth shame me. Produce in me a healthy fear of you, and free me from the fear of man. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!