Fear persuaded Adam to suggest that God and Eve were at fault for his sin. God said, “Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” And Adam replied, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it” (Genesis 3:12).
Fear of punishment compels a man to point the finger of blame
toward anywhere but self.
Fear caused Cain to have great concern regarding his own impending punishment, but no regret for the brother he had just murdered (Genesis 4:13-14).
Fear stands directly in front of us, obscuring our view of personal responsibility.
Pride is a whip in the hands of the arrogant. Shame is a shovel in the hands of the willing victim. The willing victim digs an emotional hole, too deep to climb out and then jumps in. The arrogant, prideful one lashes the willing victim for jumping into the hole. The willing victim accepts the lashing as appropriate and deserved. The arrogant, prideful one leans back and smiles in satisfaction.
In the end, shame will be the great equalizer for those that are unrepentantly prideful.
Pride is a source of false hope. But shame is a source of false hopelessness for the christian, because; “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Psalm 34:4
It is sin to believe pride and shame’s definitions of self. It is humility to believe God’s definition of self. If you truly wish to stop believing the lies, God will set you free unto a Godly humility. You must choose to go there, but only God can bring you.
Pride and shame are fraternal twins. Though they do not look alike, they were born one right after the other. Pride was the firstborn, then came its inevitable brother, shame (Gen 3:1-10).
Now, it is easy to see that having much pride is shameful. But what is often hidden from our sight is that having much shame can be prideful. The person with much shame often believes that harboring a sufficiently large quantity of shame is a necessary self-punishment before God (and others) and a means by which he might earn some degree of personal acceptance. In this way, his shame has become a self-determining, self-dependent, work of atonement, denying the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for his sins. This is pride.
Generally speaking, the “social gospel” seeks to apply Christian ethics to social problems such as poverty, slums, education, alcoholism, crime, and war. It’s a great idea! The problem is; these things are emphasized while the doctrines of sin, salvation, heaven and hell, and the future kingdom of God are often downplayed.
From God’s perspective; man can never be saved or transformed by social justice. He can only be saved and transformed by personal repentance and faith in Christ.
Instead of a social gospel, Jesus preached the saving power of faith in His sacrifice on the cross for our sins and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Why? Because according to the bible –
The entire nature of man, mentally, morally, spiritually and physically is sadly affected by sin.
The understanding is darkened (Eph. 4:18; 1 Cor. 2:14); the heart is deceitful and wicked (Jer. 17:9,10); the mind and conscience are defiled (Gen. 6:5; Titus 1:15); the flesh and spirit are defiled (2 Cor. 7:5); the will is enfeebled (Romans 7:18); and we are utterly destitute of any Godlike qualities which meet the requirements of God’s holiness (Romans 7:18).
This does not mean the entire absence of conscience (John 8:9); nor of all moral qualities (Mark 10:21); nor that men are prone to every kind of sin.
It does mean, however, that man is totally destitute of love to God which is the all absorbing commandment of the law (John 5:42); that the natural man has an aversion to God (Romans 8:7); and that man is in possession of a nature that is constantly on the downgrade, and from the dominion of which he is totally unable to free himself (Romans 7:18,23). (From The Great Doctrines of the Bible by William Evans.)
As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one.” (Rom. 3:10, NLT) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Rom. 3:23, NLT)
Personal humility is a godly leadership quality that reflects the proper attitude of the heart from which we may cultivate the necessary faith to understand the Lord’s direction for our lives.
The humble of heart experience faith as a guiding light along their path. By virtue of faith, the humble heart is never bound by the vagaries of indecisiveness nor is it directed by the force of prideful self-determination. It is able to be steered by the wind of the Spirit and restrained by the conscience of Christ. It turns to God for direction and returns to God for sustenance.
The heart of the humble trembles with eager expectation as it kneels before the cross of Christ. It has come to a place of limitless opportunity. A place of transformation for the soul. A place that leads from the portal of dying to self, upward to the attainment of holy vision and purpose. The cross of Christ is the guidepost of the humble heart; it points the way to the place of new life. And by this guidepost the humble of heart will know the way of the Lord.
Shame can bully a person to works requiring tremendous effort or intimidate a soul to virtual impotence.
Shame insinuates to the vulnerable soul, “Sure, Jesus died on the cross for you, but don’t you still feel unworthy?” Then pride exhorts self, “Therefore, you must rely on past accomplishments, the work you are now doing, or what you are able to accomplish in the future to feel acceptable to yourself.”
Pride encourages us to believe that personal performance can overcome unpleasant negative feelings of shame. Then, as self becomes gratified, pride is ratified and shame is covered over for a time.
-Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:4
Chronic shame is like a tree with many roots underground, but slender trunk and very few branches above the surface. Persistent pride is like a great tree with long branches reaching upward from a portly trunk, but very little root structure. The wind comes and blows mightily against the shame tree. Some dead branches are blown off, but the roots remain firmly entrenched. Then the strong wind comes and blows against the pride tree. The whole tree comes crashing down, with its shallow roots exposed for all the world to see.
Which tree is more resistant to the Spirit of God? The one that displays itself boldly to the world or the one that hides itself safely beneath the surface?