Have you ever done something you were ashamed of later? Maybe when you were young, maybe under pressure, hopefully not drunk, maybe just during a lapse of good mental judgement? Of course you have, we all have. Were any of the things you did or said beneficial to you? To anyone else? Probably not, that’s why we were ashamed in the first place! Would you want your kids, your boss, your spouse or best friends to know about them (hopefully they weren’t part of it!)? Would they think differently about you if they knew your deep, dark secrets?
What did you do with the experiences? Did you learn from them, try to improve yourself, or use them as a turning point in your life? Or did you just pretend they didn’t happen and never speak of them again? Everyone has a past, and often what happened there is better left there. Now, I’m not talking about covering things up, compounding lies, digging deeper holes, and continuing to be an idiot (let’s face it, that’s probably what we were–temporarily at least–while we were doing what we were doing)! The truth is cathartic and cleansing…but some things in the past don’t need to be dredged up (unless they’re still currently affecting us). But we do need to reflect on what we’ve done or said and contemplate where we want things to go moving forward. We also need to change our behavior and thoughts and control ourselves so we don’t add to our list of things that shall not be spoken of! I’m talking about being truthful with yourself.
We need to be responsible and take responsibility (those are two very different things!) for our actions and our words. Whether you believe it or not, someone is always watching. I’ve been ashamed of how I’ve spoken to people, how I’ve acted in certain situations, things I’ve done and maybe even some places I’ve been. I then had to (no–chose to–it’s a conscious choice) reflect on what I did, why I did it, and why I was ashamed of myself. Why? Because we need to try to be better people. We need to realize the impact we have on each other. This world is hard enough without adding idiocy and irresponsibility to the mix. We need to figure out that things done in the dark don’t stay in the dark…when the lights come up, can you live with what you’ve been doing?
Some people don’t see the need to change, reflect, or even be ashamed of their behavior at all in the first place, do you really want to be one of those people?
“What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?” Romans 6:21