The following is an excerpt from a recent talk I gave at Austin Mustard Seed for the first week of Lent.
In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
The Poet begs that God deliver him from shame.
I find it interesting that he does not ask outright for success. He doesn’t beg God for a win. He says don’t let me be ashamed.
The Fear of Shame
What is it about shame that is so terrible it sends us begging for God’s help?
What he’s describing here is a public humiliation. Think Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter, where the protagonist Hester Prinn gets pregnant out of wedlock and is marched down the street with a red letter A sewed to her bodice. Perhaps a more relevant example comes from dogshaming.com.