“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16 NLT
Some things I was ashamed of growing up, I’m now ashamed I was ashamed of.
Until my middle school years, I was proud of my parents. While they didn’t give me everything I wanted, they gave me all I needed. I never had to wear raggedy clothes or holey shoes. Mom prepared home-cooked meals, and our cabinets were never bare. Though my parents were not lovey-dovey, they always acted in ways that let me know I was loved. Abusive or negative words never flowed from their mouths. They wanted the best for their three sons.
When I reached the teenage years, my attitude changed. Suddenly, feelings of shame over who my parents were arose. I didn’t enjoy telling people my father was a preacher because then I was labeled a “PK.” I was expected to be good all the time. And the rules I had previously willingly obeyed now seemed foolish. Being made to go to church every time the doors were opened didn’t help either. Many of my friends never darkened a church’s doors.
Reflecting now, I’m ashamed that I was ever ashamed of my parents. Unfortunately, I was sometimes ashamed of what Paul proclaims loudly that he wasn’t ashamed of: the gospel of Jesus Christ. I didn’t like others to know I was a preacher’s kid. I certainly didn’t flaunt my faith-and rarely shared it.
Things changed when I was in my mid 20’s. I adopted Paul’s attitude-and for good reason. The gospel is good news, and people need to hear some good news. After all, bad news is almost all we hear from media sources. Telling people they are loved unconditionally and can be forgiven of their sins is encouraging news worth spreading.
I’m not ashamed to share something that includes an invitation for everyone. God excludes none except those who refuse on their own volition to come. Nor am I ashamed to share something that has eternal consequences. Refusing to accept God’s gospel means an eternity in a less than pleasant place.
Sharing news that has the power to change lives is something to be proud of, not ashamed of. When the good news of the gospel is received, everything changes: my outlook on life, my priorities, my relationships, and my eternity.
Are you unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA