Embarrassment is an agonizing emotional state of humiliation that varies in magnitude – it could come from a fall from the stage, or a range of other perceived failures.
Believers are not exempted from being embarrassed. In fact, when a humiliating moment occurs there can even be a tendency in some to think that God failed them because the embarrassment happened.
God, however, has no interest in any unnecessary embarrassment occurring. Most of the time, embarrassment is caused by our own doing as well as the doing of others. As fallible human beings living together in this world, embarrassment is a part of life. But as the Scriptures state, we may take heart, for God has overcome the world (John 16:33). This truth is our overarching assurance that we need not fear the negative or emotionally-difficult aspects of life.
Spiritual wounds caused by embarrassment
When we are embarrassed it may generate emotional responses that are harmful to our spiritual beings. Once the disastrous moment has passed, we may tend to be hard on ourselves, blaming ourselves for what had happened. We may also instantly blame others for scrutinizing us, which often leads to distancing ourselves from people. We may tend to feel isolated, like we are “less-than” in the sight of others.
On the extreme cases of embarrassments, we may feel so strong as to want to destroy something, or to harm ourselves or others.
These emotional responses are only natural in our humanity, especially for those without the assurance that comes by faith. But you should know that dwelling on embarrassment and letting yourself be engrossed in these emotional responses may work against your trust in God, diminishing a sense of connection with Him. If you are currently dealing with an embarrassment, no matter the extent, reflect the reality that GOD is in YOUR midst, right now. Further, this God NOW in your midst is the mighty one that WILL ultimately save you (Zephaniah 3:17).
Tips on how to deal with embarrassment
Embarrassment is still tough. Even if time buries it, it can stay etched in our memories and come back to pester us. To offer you help to gradually let go of the harmful effects of embarrassment in your life, here are three Biblically sound tips to follow:
1. Find refuge in the Lord
Seek for quietness and stillness. Leave the chaos and find a quiet place where you can find peace by meditating His word and immersing yourself in prayer. Renew yourself with His presence and ask God to renew your peace of mind, that you may have His peace– that peace that is hard to explain that comes only from Him. God is there to protect the embarrassed – He will uphold you (Isaiah 41:10) and give you justice (2 Thessalonians 1:6-8), so we may walk by faith and wholeheartedly trust Him.
2. Confront it
Provided the situation was your own doing, ask for forgiveness before God. The Scripture teaches us that confessing our sin to a just God will purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). And as you are forgiven by God, pray to God that likewise you may forgive yourself and others involved. Imagine that your embarrassing moment or event is now at the bottom of the ocean, no longer retrievable for you to entertain in your mind. Pray to God to help you to refuse to return to that moment in your mind– that it may have eternal rest at the bottom of the proverbial ocean.
3. Think of the present
Know that God will bring His healing touch; He has promised to make everything beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing, now that it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19) When you move past old troubles, expect for new and beautiful beginnings to come.
Your duty as someone on the other side
Ask the Lord for guidance to help someone who has been embarrassed or is currently experiencing embarrassment. There are people gifted with strong discernment and if you are one of them, you may be able to identify those who are struggling.
Even without a spiritual gift, if you are a Christian who wants to aid your brothers and sisters in Christ, remain open to those around that may be in need. Be an approachable person, one that people generally feel safe to be around with (1 Peter 3:8). By being so, you may have an opening to show the love of Christ to someone and by so doing, see a life changed forever.
Union Church of Manila is an international Christian church in Makati that welcomes all. Learn more about our worship services by visiting www.unionchurch.ph or calling (632) 812-6062 today.