A couple of weeks ago I was reading the book of Jeremiah and was grabbed by the prophet’s assessment of the people in 6:15: “Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.” I forgot about the verse until a day or two later when I came to Jeremiah 8:12 and the exact same assessment: “Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.” I’ve been thinking about it on and off since I read it the second time.

What God said through Jeremiah about His people then could also be said about a lot of people today. Think about it. There doesn’t seem to be very much embarrassment today about much of anything. Jeremiah’s observation of “detestable conduct” in the NIV is rendered “disgusting actions” in the New Living Translation.

The reason people are not ashamed is because they don’t think what they are doing is disgusting. They may not be embarrassed, but I am. And I am not only embarrassed myself, I am embarrassed for them. To me disgusting actions demean the person or persons doing them.

It is true that what is detestable or disgusting to one person may not be disgusting or detestable to someone else. I agree that something could be acceptable in one context and not be acceptable in another one. I have no specific actions in mind, but I think things are different in mixed company and when children are present.

The point of Jeremiah’s indictment is the loss of awareness and sensitivity to what is inappropriate and out of place. Many of us have heard and seen so much that is disgusting and detestable we have become desensitized to it. And because of that we are no longer embarrassed by it like we used to be.

I’m not sure how we get it back, but I think we need to do so. We cannot raise other people’s standards, but we can raise our own.  We can ask the Lord to help us return to seeing what is disgusting as disgusting, being embarrassed by what is detestable, and blushing because of it.

We can take seriously the call of Romans 12:2 to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of [our minds].” And we can commit to accepting the challenge of Philippians 1:27: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”

I am embarrassed by the actions of others. But more than that, I am ashamed that I have gotten to the place where I am not more embarrassed by some of the things I say and do. Are you ever ashamed and do you ever blush?

I welcome your comments below and encourage you to share this post on social media.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/11652635@N00/2898403042″>I should have known better….</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;


7 thoughts on “I’M EMBARRASSED

  1. I haven’t been able to sit down and read one of your posts in a few weeks, being busy with work and whatnot, but I was able to read this one today, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you Pastor Bob for your observation and reminder. I will pray for you and me and others that God will open our eyes and make us once again more sensitive to the wrongs of this world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is so easy to get caught up in what people are saying and doing sometimes; this is a great reminder that we need to stand up for what we think is right even when it isn’t popular. Thanks Bob for the reminder…we all need to pray for God to help us with this!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I comes up quite often in our Life Group about how desensitized we have become to a lot of the in decency we see around us and in the media. Sandy and I enjoy your blog. Thank you for continuing to teach us. Blessings, Phil

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s