We often are very concerned and conscious of what others think of us and we want to be accepted and respected by others. As we grow older we become aware of what we need to do to be “socially acceptable”. Only a very secure person can go through life willing and able to stand alone. It is a natural desire to want the respect of others, however, it can become a snare for us and hypocritical if we change our behavior or put on a certain front in order to receive the acceptance and respect of people.
Matthew 6:2 So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
The religious leaders in Jesus’ day loved the praise and honor of men but the Lord called them hypocrites because it was not who they really were when they gave for appearance sake. They only gave so that others might see and honor them.
Matthew 6:5 When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Again, they prayed so that others might respect them for their “spiritual” prayers. Again, the Lord called them hypocrites. To receive the praise of others was their reward in full.
Matthew 6:16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
Again, their life was all about putting on an appearance in order to be accepted and praised by others.
Mark 8:38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of someone who was secure in who He is and who was willing to be rejected by others in order to accomplish something greater. Jesus Christ knew that He was accepted by His Father and He lived to please the One who had sent Him. Jesus Christ promises us that if we will not be ashamed of Him and His words then He will not be ashamed of us when He returns. An indication of a true Christian is that they will be ashamed of the things they did before they were a Christian and they will not be ashamed of Jesus Christ and following after Him after they have become a Christian.
Romans 6:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
Sometimes a conflict is created between a Christian and unbelievers who are in a close relationship with the new Christian. They may be a family member or a friend who has not yet come to Christ. New Christians want to please the One who died for them and the nonChristian does not understand that kind of commitment because they have yet to experience His amazing love.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
We are secure in the Lord once we come to know Him and we understand that His words are power and that He will never leave us or forsake us. We have a sure foundation in Him which can not be shaken and He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him.
II Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
What great joy it will be for those Christians who did not shrink back and who were not ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Sometimes it might seem lonely but He promised us that He would never forsake us. Even though we can not see Him, we believe in Him and know that He is faithful and will fulfill all of His promises that He has given to us. He is not ashamed to call us brethren.
Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Neither is God ashamed to be called our God, for He has prepared a place for us.
Hebrews 11:6 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
When the Lord comes again it will only be those who were not ashamed of Jesus Christ during the time of their stay on earth who will not shrink back in shame. Those who refused to call upon Him will wish they had and will shrink away in shame for their many sins and for not calling upon Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings.
I Peter 4:16,17 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if itbegins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
It is not too late to call upon Him. It is not too late to humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and call upon His name. He desires that all come to know Him.
Isaiah 55:6,7 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.