Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Shame Is NEVER Right In the Eyes of God!

 by Michael C. Garrett

To shame someone, or to attempt to shame someone – and it seems like to me, as I sit in front of my television set watching the news, that SHAME is now a national preoccupation. One group is always trying to shame the other group. The Republicans or the conservatives are trying to shame the Democrats or the progressives – the neo-socialists. And then, whenever the neo-socialists get a chance to speak, they’re trying to shame the conservatives! And, it can certainly also be that way even in our own personal lives!

Just stop and listen to how often people attempt to shame another person.

It would be what our Lord Jesus Christ would call, ‘being judgmental.’

Now, it’s not like you have to give approval to everything you see or hear, but is it your job to try and shame the other person!?


Turning to the Book of Matthew chapter 7

Verse 1 – “’ Judge not, that you be not judged. 2) For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use [what you pour out, what you dish out], it will be measured back to you.’

Now, Jesus was referring to – and there are other places cf. Hebrews – all men will stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. It makes no difference who you are or what background you come from – rich or poor. Everyone, someday, will have to stand before the judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ!

This is what our Lord is referring to here in Matthew chapter 7.

If you judge harshly – and in effect, you are wanting to shame that person; shame does not help build-up, it tears down.

Now, the very word “edify” and the different roots from that in the Greek language literally means “to build up.” It actually refers to a carpenter – who takes his different pieces of construction material and, piece by piece, places them into the frame and of the building of the house – and he builds a house. One two-by-four at a time and you build up this structure. Edification means to build somebody up!

Shaming is just the opposite. It tears people down and it destroys them.

Now, mankind does not have a soul. A person is a soul. Often you hear that word in our modern language. But you can say – using our modern language – you can destroy a person by attempting to shame them!

So, think about this Cancel Culture we hear so much about. At the moment of this article, the United States of America is in the depths of this Kyle Rittenhouse trial. A 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, who fatally shot two men who were attacking him and wounded another. His father lives just across the border in Kenosha, Wisconsin. And, I often wondered – and I learned something this week that I hadn’t understood before – I kept thinking, “Why does a 17-year-old leave his home, cross state lines, and become involved in this melee in Kenosha!?” There were all these protests and rioting! Well, his father lives in Kenosha, and the young man had a job there – and he considers Kenosha as much his home as he does where his mother lives. So he kind of has dual citizenship.

Now, a police officer or a firefighter back east sent $10 dollars to the Kyle Rittenhouse Defense Fund – it wasn’t an awful lot of money – but he just wanted to show his support for the young man. He, like many, believes that the young man did indeed attempt to protect himself in the form of self-defense. There were evil and vile people trying to kill him! One guy – Anthony Huber, who had lived a life of severe violence and crime – struck the young man over the head with a skateboard! Well, I’ll tell you what friends – if someone was hitting me over the head with a skateboard, and I had a gun, I would end the barrage on the top of my head! Obviously, if you get struck often enough on the top of your head with a skateboard – a pretty solid piece of material – eventually you are going to die or have brain damage. So, this serviceman sent this donation to the Kyle Rittenhouse Defense Fund, and when his employer had found out that he had done this – they FIRED HIM!

And you hear about this type of stuff all over!

Someone makes a statement in favor of the Republicans – or President Donald Trump – or traditional values, and all of a sudden all these people want to get them fired! – want to get them canceled. It is a horrible atmosphere in which we are living! I dare say it is truly a demonic age! An age in which Satan the devil and his demons are in overdrive!

Our Lord Jesus Christ continues in verse 3 – “’ And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?’

So, the speck is like a small piece of wood in your neighbor's eye, but our Lord Jesus is saying, ‘you have a large beam of wood in your own eye!’ Do you think you have the right to tell your neighbor he has a little speck in his!? And this is the hypocrisy of what we’re speaking of here.

Verse 4 – “’ Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?’

Verse 5 – the very words of Jesus Christ! ’ Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’

A powerful example – but again, we live in an age where people want to shame their fellow human beings. And to destroy them – i.e. cause them to lose their job having no income. And, what did he do!? He sent $10 dollars anonymously.

The egregious anger which resides in so many people – they just want to DESTROY – because of some belief that they might hold.

Well, if I was to meet a full-fledged Communist, I certainly wouldn’t agree with his philosophy, but to the very best of my ability, I would try and treat him with respect. There are a lot of lifestyles that are now “out in the open,” that twenty years ago were not talked about. But, if I were to meet someone of this alternate lifestyle – I certainly wouldn’t approve of what they are doing – but it is not my job to try and shame them. I am not the Judge. I am not the Jury. And I will simply, to the best of my ability, treat them with respect.

You know, if you treat another human being with respect, you basically never have to apologize – do you!?

There was a time when I was a young man, there was a movie which came out called Love Story, a sad story – two people meet, they fall in love, and one of them gets sick and dies. But, two lines from the film have entered popular culture: “What can you say about a 25-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant? That she loved Mozart and Bach? The Beatles? And me?” As well as, “Love means never having to say you're sorry.” Now, I have to admit – when I was twenty-one or twenty-two – when I first watched that movie, I didn’t really understand what that saying meant. I couldn’t comprehend it. Or in Spanish - No puedo comprenderlo! Well, now I do!

Love means – conducting yourself in such a way that you treat other people with respect so that you NEVER do something to broach that commitment – and therefore you have to end up saying you’re sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I shouldn’t have thought that. I shouldn’t have done that.

’ Judge not, that you be not judged.’

Let us turn to verse 16 of the same chapter – Matthew 7 –

Verse 16 – a verse which we refer to many times. One could be an atheist and was to study the living word of God and the “gospel” accounts – even for an atheist there are these powerful gems of wisdom, which can be found in the teachings of Jesus Christ. And this one is powerful! I have discovered in the latter half of my life that if I simply use this principle it teaches me so very much about the person with whom I’m dealing. ’ You will know them by their fruits.’

If you want to know what somebody is like simply view them in action. What they say, what they do. They will tell you who they are.

Notice verse 20 – “’ Therefore by their fruits you will know them.’

Now, back during the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day, I thought of a concept that I hadn’t quantified before. And it became clear to me and it has continued to be a powerful part of my thinking. ’ You will know them by their fruits.’ As I go through this life some people fall into the category of “sweet spirit” – just special, wonderful people. And then there are others that are just lousy human beings. “Sweet spirit” or “Sour spirit.” Now, a human being without the Spirit of God can still have a “sweet spirit.” But, what is really ideal is to have a “sweet spirit” and to have contact and connection with God’s Holy Spirit! Now there is truly a special person! And these are the people that God Almighty and Jesus Christ are looking for – as opposed to that “sour spirit.” The angry and accusatory people.

Who is the chief accuser!?

Satan the devil.

So, anytime you find yourself getting near wanting to accuse harshly – to really put someone down – you need to bite your tongue and place your brain in neutral and just stop. And consider the road down which you are attempting to travel. Don’t be that type of person.

Now, we all have bad days. Bad days are like snowfall – it happens. I personally don’t want to go outside when it’s freezing rain – but sometimes you have to. But, what we want is to have this “sweet spirit” about us.

Another verse I’d like you to look at – in the Book of John chapter 13

This comes close to crystalizing – in these verses – what God wants us to be. Because it describes JESUS CHRIST!

If we have the same traits as JESUS CHRIST we know we’re doing well. And we know that we’re looking at a very positive future – eternal life.

Verse 34 – Jesus speaking – ’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.’

Now friends, if you want a goal to shoot for, an ideal, to say, “What type of person do I want to be!?” Sadly, the majority of our peoples don’t even think about this. They just tend to be what they are. But we do have – as human beings – the ability to direct our thoughts. The ability to change our lives. We have free moral agency. And, we have the opportunity to change. Especially if you have God’s Spirit and you read God’s living word, and you pray to God and Jesus Christ – and you think about these things.

Verse 35 – “’ By THIS all will know that you are My disciples, …’

A most powerful pretext! “’ By this all will know that you are My disciples’”! That you have love one for another. Simple.

I heard a false minister once get up in front of a congregation and say, “You’re not good enough to make it into the Kingdom of God!” And his whole sermon was based upon that. In fact, one in the congregation went out into the parking lot after services and confessed, “Well, I’m never going to make it!” And he never returned. What a horrible sermon! Now, you talk about “building up,” or “tearing down”! He was just tearing the people down – people he didn’t even know very well. This person thought of himself as a minister. But he was not – he was a detractor. The word minister means servant.

’ Judge not, that you be not judged.’

But, ‘by this will all men know that you are My disciples if you have love one to another.’

So, if you have God’s Spirit, you have access to a higher level of living, thinking, and being. Because you have the chance to have God literally residing in your mind – to have Jesus Christ live in your mind!

Yet, our peoples who are not yet called or chosen by God can still have wonderful dispositions! And I say this because there was once a group of people that I once knew, that would proudly announce, “We have God’s Spirit, but all these other churches, they’re horrible.”

And that is just a big blatant lie!

There are many wonderful people in this world! And most of the really good people which I have met in my life don’t have God’s Spirit – yet. But friends, I tell you, many of these wonderful people I would lay down my life to save theirs! Because they’re good people – and I pray for them on a regular basis. And someday I look forward to being given the opportunity to help teach them the living Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God – when the time is right. And, on that day, when these people who have a “sweet spirit” enter into the glorious Kingdom of God – I will celebrate!

Because, I have, in my thinking, what I call “The List.” And God Almighty and Jesus Christ know what I mean when I call it “The List.” And I have on this list people who throughout my life – from my twenties even until now – I find certain people who impress me, and I ask God Almighty and Jesus Christ – please place them on my list! And these are people that someday in the Great White Throne Judgment – or even at the end of this age – will be offered the living Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God, and I ask that I will be given the opportunity to be the one who helps teach them.

If you would turn to the Book of 1st Corinthians chapter 13

This is a well-known chapter. And, I believe that we’re talking about the basic fundamentals here. Now, a great many people are compelled to give very esoteric sermons – and I knew a man once who prided himself on being highly intellectual, and when he got up to speak, surely 95 percent of the congregation didn’t have a clue of what he was talking about – because he was out in leftfield.

If you just want to get down to the basics – what does God expect of you!?

“’ Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5) You shall love the LORD your God will all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength’” – Deuteronomy 6:5.

And, “ …’ You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:37-39.


So, if you want to know who is the difference-maker – who makes it into the kingdom and who doesn’t – these are the things which will make the difference!

Now, in the Authorized Version, we see the word “charity” which is the Greek word agapē, meaning “the active love of God.” So, not just human love, but love on a much higher plane.

Verse 1 – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not [godly love], I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”

Verse 2 – “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not [godly love], I AM NOTHING.”

Verse 3 – “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned [in other words, to become a martyr], but have not [godly love], it profits me NOTHING.”

Verse 4 – “[Godly love] suffers long [in other words, is patient] …” – it truly means patience on steroids! So, it’s more than just momentary patience, but it could be patience that goes on for years and years – even decades. So, as an example ‘suffers long,’ some of those names on “The List” – over half a century – and I am still patiently waiting, patiently hoping, patiently knowing that someday this will happen.

“ … and is kind; …”

This certainly is a quality that appears to be going extinct in this world. Kindness. Like the group – which included Joseph Rosenbaum, Joshua Ziminski, Anthony Huber, and Gaige Grosskreutz – which attacked Kyle Rittenhouse. These four brutes – there was no kindness in them. There was no concern in them for anybody but themselves – and everyone else can just die as far as they were concerned. This is the fruit they showed.

“ … love does not envy; …”

Jealousy. A lot of people do stupid things just out of jealousy. Surely you have heard of the old saying “Keep up with the Joneses”!? And people will get themselves into tremendous financial problems just because of jealousy – wanting to outdo the other person.

“ … love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.”

So, if you find yourself only talking about yourself – maybe you’re talking about yourself too much!? The Greek philosopher Epictetus, who spent his youth as a slave in Rome before gaining freedom after the death of Nero, once stated, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” And that is really good advice. Sometimes we just need to listen, to hear, to comfort someone, or to even rejoice in their happiness.

Verse 5 – “[D]oes not behave rudely, does not seek its own, …

Truly having higher goals in life than just worrying about yourself. Rather, worrying about others – and trying to help others. Praying for others. Encouraging others.

“ … is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6) does not rejoice in iniquity, …”

Now, not just in iniquity, which means evilness, but godly love does not relish hearing accounts where someone else is in trouble or has a health issue. Sadly, there are people who – if one of their enemies gets COVID-19, they’re actually celebrating! “He got COVID – maybe he’ll die!” I’ll tell you, friend, that’s an evil thought!

’ Judge not, that you be not judged.’

With what you give, that you will receive. If you are wishing horrible things upon your adversaries, in the end, that form of judgment, may be meted out to you by Jesus Christ!

Now, if someone has harmed you – at some point they are going to stand before Jesus Christ. And certainly, if you are a brother or a sister to Jesus Christ there will come a day when He will defend you! ‘What were you doing in attempting to harm My brother/sister!? Did you have any idea that when you were attempting to harm them you actually were attempting to harm Me!? – because I AM a part of them and they are a part of Me!’

“ … but rejoices in the truth; …”

And, rejoicing in truthful things. Rejoicing in people who have a “sweet spirit.”

Verse 7 – “[B]ears all things, believes all things, …”

Now, not in a conspiratory or crazy way, but in a sweet and loving spirit way.

“ … hopes all things, …”

In other words, hopes for the best, hopes for the good.

“ … ‘ endures all things.”

Whatever comes across your way – you deal with it. You don’t just slink away and feel sorry for yourself. But, if you have to, get a little angry and fight back against it.

Verse 8 – “[Godly love] never fails. …”

So, think about your life, and all the people that you have known – some of them might have been so-called church friends – and they might have met you and said, “Well, I just think the world of you, you’re my friend and my brother/sister.” And, I’ve even had people from these groups say to me, “Well, Michael C., I would die for you!” And, that certainly is an extreme statement! I appreciate the thought, but I really hope they never have to. But then a few years go by – a few situations occur – and now they won’t even talk to you.

Again, [Godly love] never fails.”

I have learned that the love of human beings can be extremely temporal. Short-lived. So, the question could be asked – did they ever have godly love!? Using God’s definition – no. They certainly tried to fake it. But they truly didn’t have godly love. Because they proved that their love was of a temporary nature. Had their love and caring been real they still would be supporting you and pulling for you.

When it comes to JESUS CHRIST, you do not want Him saying, ‘You have a sour spirit.’ □

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