Shame on You

Written by Julie Cosgrove

Do you feel isolated, hurt or afraid and have no one to talk to?

“In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me” (Psalm 31:1)!

Her mouth stood wide open, unable to answer the accusations her once-good friend was spewing at her like the rat-tat-tat of a machine gun. Her lips clamped into a thin straight line as her eyes began to swim. Shaking her head, she backed away and ran for the Ladies’ room, riddled with shame.

This could happen in the halls of a high school, or in the aisles of an office work area, in the confides of your own home, or believe it or not, in the fellowship hall of a church. It may have happened to you. False accusations, misunderstood motives, misconstrued actions result in unforeseen reactions. How dare she or he think you’d ever . . .but they do. They want you to be ashamed. Instead, you are perplexed.

No one likes to be accused of doing something they did not do. But often, Christians are put in that position.  People see the hypocritical actions of a few and leap to judge the whole. It is as if there is a target painted on our hearts that say, “I’m a Christian. It’s not only okay to slap my other cheek when I turn it but to punch me in the gut or stab me in the back.”

Perhaps people have been hardened by skepticism. They are looking for the angle – what’s in it for you? Where is the secret key that will open the door and reveal the scam?  What’s the hidden truth in your message that will prove it is false?  Why are you being nice, and why should you care?

Jesus understands. He’s been there. The Scripture readings during the season of Lent are full of examples of how he was misunderstood and his motives misconceived. The Pharisees and Sadducees, even his own followers could not grasp the concept that He was willing to die for their salvation, much less that he had the authority to do so. His last day, He suffered shame, ridicule and physical beatings, yet he never opened his mouth. Why? Because to do so would fuel the fire. How do you rationalize with the irrational?

Instead, He looked to the One who gave Him the strength to endure it all our sake, for yours and mine. So did David, when he wrote this psalm. So can we when people wrong us. After all, the only person we are ultimately answerable to is our Lord. If we put His mercy and grace in control of the situation, then our conscience is clean, our souls renewed, our hearts protected.  We can find a way to love our accusers. The rest is between Him and them.

Questions: If you have been wronged, what was your reaction? Did you turn to Jesus for guidance? If you didn’t would the outcome been different if you had?

10 Responses to “Shame on You”

  • Patrice says:

    We need to permanently dispose of hurts and grudges (and particularly the shame)! I know that I can toss them aside, but do not always completely let go of them. Interestingly enough, people hold on also and can remind us of our transgressions. It is almost as if this helps them feel better about themselves. That is the opposite of what God does! Thank you for this message!

  • Chika says:

    Thank you so much for this devotional. As a woman leader, I encounter critics on daily/weekly basis. But God’s love and call in my life helps me to overcome the effect. People must see reasons to bring others down but when we look unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith, He will surely supply the grace and strength we need to see us through. Please keep up the good work, I am blessed!

  • Patti says:

    Gods Timing never ceases to amaze me..June of 2009 my life was changed forever. what began has me walking down a country road and being knocked down by some dogs, causing unbelieveable injuries,my leg broke in a way that shattered my patella and broke my tib/fib and two bones in my arm, leading to disablity from my 38 year career as a hairdresser turned into a rumor that my daughter was somehow responsible for my injuries..A young woman who had worked with me and been like a member of our family for over 10 years chose to tell my clients and others that I was lying and covering for my daughter, the rumor took roots and others jumped on the rumor mill..almost 2 years later we are still fighting our way thru the legal system trying to get medical bills paid and put an end to the ficious rumor that has cost me a loss of respect from people, I have been in busy for over 25 years, yet it was so easy for some people to jump on the side of this young woman, a very sweet christian woman but with a gossiping tongue..the lies she and her family have told will never be undone..only God can shine the light of truth, I pray everyday somedays with anger so deep I can hardly breathe. God has given me morsels of his word to hang on too..and no matter what the outcome. the truth is still the truth, but to those that have beleived the lies, they are so decieved..please pray for to walk in forgiveness to the many that have percuted our family. and for truth and justice to prevail in the coming days of mediation and trail dates.

  • Geraldine says:

    Thank you for that devotion

  • Geraldine says:

    Thank you for that devotion. I am also a Christian and born again. This has happened to me so many times I can’t even count, and from my own family. They try and make me feel so small but I have learned not to retailiate and pray and give it to the Lord. Thanks

  • Makaira says:

    What interesting and insightful comments about this devotional. Timing is everything
    The timing of this message was absolutely spot on for me based the events of my day.
    The title was a bit unusual from those we usually get (@barbara see your point)
    @Lori I’m feeling like were standing in each others shoes.
    Yesterday was one if those days for me. Falsely associated and accused, I decided to speak to the accuser
    Directly and ask what I did or said to create that action towards me. As I suspected the response and motive was from a place of malice deep within this person. I spoke honestly about my feelings and how this type of unfriendlyness was
    the last thing I expected from this person. The response was disingenuous.The ultimate result was this person was doing the best they could to apologize. Apology more than accepted. Gratitude that I had the courage to seek some answers to why this person decided to be unkind and hopefully awaken them, to try to be a bit kinder. It’s not always easy to stop and give it all up to god. We are and will continue to be human in every way. So I offer this. Be gentle when seeking answers to your pain and by all means do bring it to god sooner than later.
    Peace, love and light to all my sisters in Christ.

  • Barbara says:

    Julie, Thanks for the devotional..however the title that you used “SHAME IN YOU” made me feel discouraged in wanting to even open it to read. Although your message is good the title should have been thought out a bit more. Who wants to receive a suppose to be ‘Up lifting devotional’ that reads…shame on you…we have enough shame in our lives and to have to read such in your incoming emails is not easy to digest. Please use cation when titling your messages/devotionals.


  • Lorna says:

    Merci Thank you again.

  • jeevan kumar says:

    Very Very helpful Devotion…….Thanks alot…

  • Lori says:

    I’m 52 and was born again at age 16. ~ This topic over the years has been the most difficult one for me… b/c we are judged so harshly by others. It’s like if I make a mistake it’s magnified by even my own family, yet they can make one mistake right after the other. I don’t judge them, but if we disagree on an issue, then they (in their pride), try to make me look and feel small. I instantly have to take that to God. I don’t always get to God in that instant, and my words can “fuel the fire”; believe me. Long story very short, it NEEDS to be in the instant we take it to The Lord, or us Christians too find it incredibly hard to keep silent. Thanks for this reminder Julie, how ironic that just last night, I looked up in my Bible “Oppressed”. I love your devos. Lori

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