Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! The Heart of the Matter
Sometimes people take life a little too seriously. They lose the ability to laugh and forget that all men are human. We want our cars washed, lawns manicured, clothes starched, and our conversation thoughtful. This air of perfection often lends itself to some pretty funny moments when reality collides. While few like to admit it, all humans have been subject to an embarrassing occasion—or two!
These moments can be even more horrifying through the eyes of a young person. For teenagers who are seeking acceptance by their peers, one small embarrassing moment in time can wind up resulting in years of tortuous ridiculing and cruel jokes. In fact, if not addressed properly, these moments can leave scars that last well into adulthood.
Given the nature of embarrassment, we rarely, if ever, discuss this topic from the pulpit. Even though almost every Christian has suffered from some type of embarrassment, we have either learned to hide it or not discuss it. We are good at coming across as having it all together. After all, we are “dignified” people, aren’t we? And certainly we should not ever discuss such from the pulpit…or should we?
Here’s what I intend on teaching my children about embarrassment.
I had really hoped no one saw me. You all were finishing up your ice cream (Wednesday night tradition!), and I had loudly proclaimed it was time to roll. With that statement still ringing in the air, I hit the exit door with great flair to head for the car. It was in that moment, with my face pressed up against the glass, that I realized I had selected the door that was still locked. I quickly tried to “save face” and slid over to the other door. But the damage was done—your mom (and probably others) was already “belly laughing” and relaying to each of you what Dad had just done. I knew I was busted, and that moment would be relived for months to come in the annals of Harrub history.
Our home life is full of funny family moments—some of which must remain secret to protect the innocent! Thankfully each of you is learning to laugh at yourself. This is a skill that I hope you will incorporate into your adult life. Understand that a part of being human means that we are apt to make mistakes, stumble, forget names, or just do something embarrassing. These humbling experiences are healthy reminders that we should never “get too big for our britches.” These embarrassing moments do not affect who you are, nor do they affect your relationship to God. And even though you may never hear of it or see it, many of your Christian friends have experience similar embarrassing moments. It is a part of life.
The next time you find yourself embarrassed, allow it to be a reminder to you of the Bible’s authenticity. Because the Bible was inspired by God and not created by any single individual (or group of people), it contains the “good, the bad, and the ugly.” In other words, it doesn’t hold back to give the appearance that everything is just fine. It paints the complaining Israelites in a negative light during the exodus (see Exodus15:24; Numbers 11; Numbers 16:41-50, etc.). It doesn’t try to hide the fact that some of them rebelled and the outcome was not pretty (Numbers 16). The Bible doesn’t hold back at the Israelites’ foolishness of creating and worshipping the golden calf (Exodus 32). As you read through some of the “ugly” accounts in God’s Word, I hope you will realize that this is just one more way we have assurance that what we read is God-breathed.
God knows you are human and doesn’t expect perfection—otherwise there would be no need for the redeeming blood of His Son (Romans 3:23)! In fact, it was because of His tremendous love for mankind (1 John 4:8) that He created us with free will (see Genesis 2:16-17; Joshua 24:15; Isaiah 7:15; John 5:39-40; 7:17; Revelation 22:17). When that free will collides with nature and your cheeks turn red, rest assured that we have all been there. Don’t allow that moment to define who you are. Laugh it off, knowing that this is a part of life. Let me also encourage you to be very mindful of how you treat others who embarrass themselves. Make sure they know you love them—even with all their warts! (And remember that special counsel that we have shared at the dinner table: “At least they can’t take away your birthday!”) Never forget, God still wants you in Heaven with Him (1 Timothy 2:4)!
In describing the good news of salvation, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed: “Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.”
Finally, never be embarrassed about the gospel of Jesus Christ! Do not forget the words of Paul: “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).
P.S. If you have an embarrassing story you will share with our readers, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.