Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- August 10, 2010
“I have become a laughingstock to my friends, though I called upon God and he answered — a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!” Job 12:4
Humiliation hurts. It is deeply painful. Humiliation comes when embarrassment is prolonged. Prestige and status are lost. It is a confusing state to live. People relate to humiliation like leprosy. Humility is admired while humiliation is looked upon with suspicion—even disdain—at best it receives pity. It’s ominous to just survive in shame.
People whom you thought would be at your side during this time of disgrace have walked away. Their excuse is they do not know what to say. This may be true, but beyond their speechlessness is a fear of association with failure. They are afraid others will think they are condoning your situation or they are afraid others will see them afflicted with your same ailment. You are mortified. You feel abandoned by God and betrayed by people.
You are on the precipice of depression and it’s entirely possible you have fallen over its edge. You feel paralyzed—bewildered. But, things may not be as bad as they seem. Do you have your health? Does the Lord love you? Are you still in business? Maybe you have blown it beyond belief, and to your chagrin you find yourself at the lowest point of your life. However, what humiliation tears down, humility can build back up in Christ.
God is our God of multiple chances. He understands, forgives, loves and brings beauty out of pain. There is nothing you can do to erase the past or to clear up all the misunderstandings. What you can do is allow God to use this time of shame to bring Him fame. He can be trusted and He is faithful even through the depths of despair.
Let Him love you through this hard time. As Job lamented, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15a). Our hope is in Jesus Christ. Every other pseudo hope brings disappointment and delayed pain. Avoid these caricatures of peace and cling to the Prince of Peace. Turn to your sympathizing Jesus and He will soothe and heal your soul.
Lastly, we have an obligation to give hope to those hung up in humiliation. Do not try to diagnose their situation. Rather pray for them. Be there to listen to them, while pointing them back to Jesus. Help transform their humiliation to humility by restoring them. Paul said it well, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).
Have I allowed the Lord to transform my humiliation into humility? Who can I humbly serve who has been humiliated?
Related Readings: Jeremiah 31:19; Malachi 2:9; Luke 14:8-10; 1 Corinthians 11:22
Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional and two devotional books, Infusion and Seeking Daily the Heart of God
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