a feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness
We've all experienced it. I'm far more acquainted with the feeling than I should like. At times I've displayed the emotion in its red faced glory and others i've successfully masked the inward gut twinge.
I began considering embarrassment this week. Truth be told it isn't something I had stopped to ponder before now. I've just figured that I should get used to it as I'll never reach perfection this side of glory. But really, why do I get embarrassed? Why does anyone get embarrassed? I was not too thrilled with the answer I uncovered about my own heart.
Looking back at the most recent times of experiencing this dreaded emotion I noticed a pattern. Embarrassment comes when one of my imperfections is pointed out to me. Either someone draws attention to a quirk or I say something that reveals my own humanness, both ways are the primary modes that cause me to blush deeply and want to crawl into a hole. My desire to have people perceive me as Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way, drives me to feel shame or self-consciousness. My pride feathers become ruffled in a very unfavorable fashion. My glory is diminished.
What a window into my heart! It isn't when I have snapped at friend that my gut churns but rather when I become aware of how inglorious my table manners actually are. Or that I have no concept of sports stats. Or polite conversation. I am more concerned that people see me run my life well for my own glory than that they see that Jesus is beautiful. My pride prevents me from taking those moments and owning my mistake or laughing at my idiosyncrasies. I have an insatiable desire for glory. I hold to this sinful idea that the world revolves around me!
Bless the LORD that He is not finished with me yet. This new awareness of my heart sin allows me to repent and retrain my thinking. I am not the center of the universe. People need to see Jesus as beautiful, not me. My inglorious moments are perfect opportunities to bless God and acknowledge my need for Him. They provide opportunities to draw near to my Savior and delight in His beauty as it is starkly contrasted against my ugliness.
With a corrected way of thinking, hopefully my embarrassment occurrences will decrease. It will not be instant but I'll learn to laugh at own my mistakes. It might even provide the perfect opportunity to point someone to Jesus.
What about you? When do you become embarrassed? What does it say about your heart?