I never thought the day would come so soon. I already embarrass my children. I have a five-year-old daughter, a four-year-old son, and a two-month-old son. Recently I was riding down the road with the oldest two and apparently, I was embarrassing them by the way I was singing Disney songs in the car. All I can say is I hope they brace themselves now because I have a feeling an encore performance will be happening in the near future.
Embarrassment is a powerful thing when we let it control us. When looking at the word embarrassment, the dictionary defines embarrassment as “a feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness.” As a kid, I was shy and timid, and I embarrassed very easily. I was very self-conscious, and the slightest thing could make me feel awkward. I embarrassed so easily that I missed out sometimes on the joy that I could have had by just being myself. Thankfully, I had two loving parents that took it upon themselves to help me break out of my shell so that embarrassment would not rule my life. But you know, embarrassment is not the only thing that tries to control our lives.
You see, embarrassment holds us back and controls us because we fear being embarrassed again, but we are also controlled by the fear of not fitting in and being like everybody else. The fear of embarrassment and the overwhelming desire to always fit in can lead us down a very dark path. You see, embarrassment and the fear of not fitting in do not just impact us physically and socially. If we are not careful, they can also impact us spiritually. When we allow embarrassment and the fear of not fitting in to control our lives, we miss the opportunity to demonstrate the joy and confidence that we are to have in God and His Word, and we lead ourselves down a path of condoning sin and not standing up for the truth.
Have you ever noticed that even some Christians act as if they are embarrassed to be a Christian? Take for instance questions like, “How is your spiritual life going?” or “Is there anything I can pray about for you?” Do these seem awkward to you? To some, questions like this are foreign and things that they definitely would never say and would not know how to answer if they were asked. Does it really make us feel that awkward to just simply be a Christian? I can remember back to when I first stepped foot on the campus of Freed-Hardeman University. There were occasions that I felt embarrassed and awkward. But why? Was it because a fellow brother and sister in Christ simply wanted to see how I was doing? Was it because I was not always willing to stand up for truth just because I wanted to fit in? Sad to say, the answer to both of these questions is yes. I let shame and a desire to fit in with the world keep me from living the way a Christian should live. That was something that I had to work really hard on until I could fully embrace the joy of being a Christian.
A Christian is supposed to be different than the world. We are not to live and think like everybody else, but instead, we are to live with a transformed mind so that people can see God and His Word living in us (Romans 12:2). I totally understand that most of us get embarrassed sometimes in life, but our Christian lives are nothing to be embarrassed about. We are God’s chosen people (1 Peter 2:9). We are to live our lives with the recognition of Who we belong to and what He has told us to do. We are to be bold and confident in our love for God and His Word and always be ready to defend the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). Yes, we are going to sin and do things that we are ashamed of, but we do not have to hold on to that shame either. Through Christ, we have a way to come back from sin, and that is just one of the many reasons we should love being a Christian.
If the world wants to call us weird and awkward because of the way we act and the things we do, then so be it. I do not mind being weird as long as I am living my life for Christ. To us as Christians, let us not think of our Christian lives as embarrassing and awkward, but instead let us give praise to the God that we serve and be thankful for all the ways He has blessed our lives.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” – Romans 1:16