Wednesday, April 1, 2015

That is so Embarrassing!

Embarrassment-
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?


1 comment:

  1. "People need to see Jesus as beautiful, not me. My inglorious moments are perfect opportunities to bless God and acknowledge my need for Him."

    If I could high five in agreement, I would. In the meantime however, I can shout out a big Amen!

    Embarrassment is a hidden taboo subject that we perfectly mask from others, because we naturally want to reveal our me qualities with others in a positive light.

    Humanly, I don't want to mention my major embarrassment. And yet, I have seen God's mighty hand scoop me up with renewed confidence, and wants me to walk even closer with Him.

    Perhaps you know my profound frustration in the unemployment circuit. That is currently my ultimate embarrassment. Is it really a personal embarrassment, or part of God's perfect plan for me? Remember, it’s the evil one who wants us to recognise our failures - and it’s the LORD who uses such failures for His glory.

    Long story short, the LORD has revealed a pride issue, whilst being out in limbo. Either the reluctance to share and seek help, but the scrambling desire to bounce back on *your* own.

    And yet in the recent few months, I have learned to open up like it's ok (well, it’s not exactly the end of the world - that’s for sure!). I *choose* to open up, not as one who seeks attention, but for intercessory support and in sharing the hard times with others to stable the sanity and grow in faith surrounding life itself, which is a profound journey that should be shared… and recognise the LORD is in the midst of my (and everyone else’s) issues. The amount of people the LORD has placed before me, who have also walked the same path of limbo is amazing, and encouraging to my Spirit and walk with the LORD. It’s not a coincidence, but a God-incidence… with a reason to remain steadfast in Christ.

    The profound moment that I feel led and inspired by God to step out in faith to volunteer at a Christian outreach community centre in a testing time of unemployment. It took me 2-3 weeks wrestling, before giving up my time and energy, and actually trusting in the LORD to learn, grow and mature during such time.

    And the same week I start out volunteering to serve and build for God's Kingdom locally as part of the prayer ministry team, a profound opportunity has arisen to join something exciting, where one would serve and disciple among the poor from vulnerable backgrounds, where I just handed in my application form only yesterday (a week early before the closing deadline). God-incidentally, the volunteering stint will only strengthen your application for future opportunities in the third-sector and pastoral ministry.

    Overall, I hope I haven't hijacked your reflection, but I am genuinely fascinated to share a wee story with regards to feeling embarrassed, which often leads to learning that God is more than capable of breaking down barriers that we knowingly (or unknowingly) build, as a result of pride and rejection. And it's amazing what we can discover in the moments of something awkward that when we choose to trust in Him, and be open for His pruning that fruit will bear, when the season is right to blossom.

    ~Richard

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