So I got up Saturday morning and prepared to read my Bible. Prepared meaning I grabbed my tablet and opened the reading for the day. The reading for the day had yet another list. I had been reading lists for about a week: genealogies, lists of tribes, lists of Levities, their divisions, and roles of service. Aside from running across Jabez, and realizing that the role of the Levite priests was far more complex than I had previously, it was deadly dull work. And here were lists of David’s mighty men and so on. I struggled through the reading. Not even Paul shipwrecked on Malta could hold my interest. Then I switched to Facebook to relieve my overtaxed brain.
One of the first things I saw was a video posted by my Uncle, Jason Carlisle. It was in Spanish; it was about a shipment of Bibles being delivered to Cuba. I watched and was ashamed of myself. I was captured by the expression on the face of an elderly man, hope and worry warred, he stood patiently in the front of the crowd as Bibles were passed over his shoulder to those in the back of the room. I could almost hear him thinking, “Will there be enough? Will they pick me?” Within a boat ride of my door people are hungry to hold what I had just disregarded in my heart and pastors are without Bibles of their own. What I experienced was Godly shame. (Most of us like to call it conviction. It just sounds nicer.) Godly shame prompted me to ask for His forgiveness and to seek to change my bad attitude. Godly shame set me free to change; earthly shame chains me to a past act or situation so that there is no forgiveness and no change. Earthly shame is without hope. Only the redeeming work of Christ makes shame a good thing.