Shame Off You

Jon Burgess


“I do not write these things to shame you, but to warn and advise you as my beloved children. For even if you were to have ten thousand teachers [to guide you] in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers [who led you to Christ and assumed responsibility for you], for I became your father in Christ Jesus through the good news [of salvation]. So I urge you, be imitators of me [just as a child imitates his father].” ‭‭1 CORINTHIANS‬ ‭4:14-16‬ ‭AMP‬‬


The Apostle Paul is not trying to win an argument, he's trying to win souls. He's not getting caught up in the blame game or the shame game. Many leaders would do exactly that to defend themselves out of insecurity. He was being compared to Apollos, but Paul was going there. Collaboration, not competition, was the path forward. As a good spiritual father he wanted to take the church in Corinth away from the perverse and petty arguments and acts they had been caught up in. The book of Corinthians is a great example of tough love. This love wasn't looking the other way. This fathers love was looking them right in the eyes and reminding them of who they were. There were so many sinful, superficial, and falsely spiritual acts going on the church it would have been easy for him to shame them. Instead of saying, "Shame on you" with a condemning tone or "Shame is you" with a condoning tone he is saying "Shame off you" through the Cross alone!


I woke up this morning giddy as a schoolboy. Which is kind of appropriate considering I've been staying in the student dorms for the past couple of days here at New Hope Christian College in Eugene, OR. The reason for my excitement is that Pop is driving up from Bend today for the Celebration of The Cross event tonight on campus. This will the first time that I'll have had the opportunity to introduce my Dad to the O'hana I do life and ministry with at New Hope Oahu. Pop has been worked into many of messages because he is one of the main reasons I know Christ and am in the ministry. I did so many stupid things growing up but Pop never shamed me. In fact, his ministry to me was to take shame off me. Now don't get me wrong. I was disciplined often and hard for the things I said and did, but that discipline never came packaged in shame. In fact, when I was younger he would always tell me he loved me before and after a spanking. He would hug me thought I didn't want to hug him. He would accept me even when I rejected him. He didn't just fill my life with Dad talk, but rather the father heart. My hope and prayer is that I can be both a real father and a spiritual father to my boys and others the way my Dad was and is to me.


The longer I'm alive the more I realize how rare my experience was growing up. I had two parents who loved Jesus and loved me enough not to let me get away with my sin and not to shame me for it. We have a lot of talkers and teachers in this world, but few spiritual fathers. I pray that I would take the example You've given me and live it out. Shame is a quick fix that creates a deeper fissure in the heart. Let me be a voice that says shame off you!

Devotions for November 09

Job 34
1 Corinthians 4,5,6

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