You should be ashamed!
One of the symptoms of a heart hardened toward God is the lack of shame over our sins.
Like a thief, Israel feels shame only when she gets caught. Kings, officials, priests, and prophets—all are alike in this.
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You should be ashamed!
God sends the prophet Jeremiah to Israel to warn her about the danger they are in. His desire is that they would turn back to the LORD so that He will not need to punish them for their disobedience and rebellion. Sadly, history tells us that they did not do that, and God did have to punish them severely. Even then they did not turn back to Him as they should have.
One of the symptoms of a heart hardened toward God is the lack of shame over our sins. The fact that we can sin against God and others and it doesn’t bother us is a sign of our depraved state and our rejection of God’s place in our lives. In our verse for the day we see a very common trait in people; they were ashamed only when they got caught.
One of the things that really caught me about this verse was that it is directed at the leaders of the nation more than anyone else. Kings, officials, priests, and prophets are all accused in this verse of having hearts that are hardened toward God so that they do not feel shame over sin until they are caught. God is rebuking the leaders here because He knows the people are likely to do what they see their leaders doing.
As leaders of our families, ministries, or churches we need to avoid hardening our hearts toward God. Sin and rebellion in our hearts or lives ought to bring shame and sadness to us regardless if we are caught or not. God sees everything in our lives. It should shame us that God knows about our sins more than it does that other people know about our sins. When we do that we are proving to God that we don’t love Him that much and that we don’t esteem Him over other people.
As the leaders we ought to strive to soften our hearts. We should be praying daily that God would break down any hard spots that are developing. We should look into our hearts to examine them and determine if there is any sin or rebellion that we should be embarrassed about within our lives. There should be a daily process of examination, repentance, and forgiveness taking place in our lives. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to tenderize our hearts to the point that even the smallest of things contrary to God embarrasses us and drives us to the cross for forgiveness.
If we do that as leaders, then we can stand before those we lead and encourage them to do the same thing. We can lead them to a higher place in their walk with Jesus Christ. We need to model the behaviors that God calls for from His children. The people that God has called to follow us will do what they see. Let’s set a good example for them so that they can experience all the good things that God has for them. Jesus, teach us to follow You as we lead them.
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