<<shame, dishonour>>

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" for when a person falls into sin, their integrity is broken, and the shame continues with a lingering measure of distrust, humiliation and regret, “My disgrace is before me all day long, and my face is covered with shame” (Ps 44:15; Prov 13:5, 14:34; Dan 9:8). The wicked bring shame and

Character is quickly tarnished by a stupid action

disgrace on themselves by not living God-honouring righteous lives. Do I endeavour to walk with integrity? When a believer falls into sin, not only do they bring disgrace on themselves but also on the name of Christ (Rom 2:24). Non-believers see those sins and blame them on the faith. As Christians, we need to be extremely careful about the kind of reputation we create in this world.

To be restored there needs to be deep and genuine repentance before God and a humble asking forgiveness from those involved together with appropriate restitution.  Being in accountability to others, having strong self-discipline and a growing relationship with Christ, depending on His strength, are good safeguards to avoid making a fool of one’s self. Recognise our human vulnerability as “Pride is quickly followed by disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” (Prov 11:2; 1 Cor 10:12). David prayed that he would not disgrace God but rather be a good example of a God follower (Ps 69:6).

Normally suffering disgrace is associated with shameful conduct. However, Peter and John rejoiced in God that "they were counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the cause of Christ" after boldly speaking about Christ (Act 5:41). These godly men counted as their glory what the world would count as shame. Paul expressed this as, “God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ...For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for Him” (Gal 6:14; Phil 1:29).

Joseph was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace Mary, his fiancé publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly (Mt 1:19). He could have humiliated her in public and played the victim, when although still claiming to be a vigin she was pregnant. He was informed by an angel in a dream how this unheard of miracle happened and this changed his response (Mt 1:20,21). With Mary, the mother of Jesus, they both endured the rumours of immorality and there were a long thirty years between this mysterious birth and any impressive, public evidence that this child was more than simply another human being.

See also: character, embarrassed, humiliation, integrity, shame.