Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
1 Corinthians 15:33,34 ESV
Shame: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.
Shamelessness is at epidemic levels in our culture today. The more I witness the behavior of people in American culture, the more I see that there is no longer a sense of shame for bad, or immoral behavior. I can’t help but believe the reason for this increase in shamelessness directly correlates to the lack of recognition of God, and his ways in our culture today.
So many today have no feeling of humiliation or distress about what they do, because they simply aren’t aware that their behavior is wrong or foolish. Many are content to stay unaware and refuse to be shown the error of their ways. Shame has a healthy place in a healthy culture. But, the moral pendulum of our current culture has swung almost completely away from the concept of shame. Perhaps its because the use of shame has been woefully abused in the past, and we fear the use of it today. Shame is not to be used as a weapon to demean and destroy, but to make one conscious of detrimental behavior.
I know when I was growing up, when my error was pointed out to me in a healthy way, I felt a healthy sense shame for doing wrong. I also remember times when the guilt from my sense of shame almost crippled me because the sense of shame imposed on me was nearly impossible to bear. Today because of the influences in my life I’ve come to understand the place for shame in my life. This helps me to stay on the right path.
As the Apostle Paul said: “Bad company ruins good morals.” The company one keeps certainly affects one’s moral standards. What we allow to influence us will change us. Humanist thought, and hedonistic philosophy are great influencers in our culture today, and this is why we see so many drifting off into the shameless pursuit of whatever pleases the individual.
I am thankful for the influence that the word of God and his people has had on my life. The company I keep has helped me to keep healthy moral standards, and I have imparted those standards to my children.
We as followers of Christ must never forget our role as moral influencers in our culture. In Acts 17 this is what was said about Paul and Silas, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” Oh to have that said about us as God’s people today.
The solution to the epidemic of shamelessness is the word of God. Continued teaching and preaching of his word even though it be opposed is the our only hope for turning the world upside down and bringing back moral standards to our culture.
A passage to meditate on. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:16,17 ESV
© 2015 Leo J. Woodman