Saturday, June 11, 2016

Embarassment and God's love for us

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. James 4:7-10

I went to the store recently, and as I was checking out, the cashier encouraged me to sign up for a store credit card. I had applied for this credit card twice in the past and was turned down both times because of my low income. I told the cashier that I did not want to sign up for the credit card, but she kept cajoling me to do it. I finally had to firmly refuse her. I did not want to tell her that I had been denied twice already because there were people in line behind me. I was very embarrassed.

I wanted to complain to the store, but there is no way to contact them directly. I tried to fill out a survey, but it was a standard survey in which the customer chooses answers about the service. As I thought about it, I realized that what I wanted to accomplish by complaining was self-justification. I did not particularly want to help improve the service, and I did not want any restitution. I did not particularly even want to help other shoppers have a better experience. I only wanted the store to see how I was wronged. This is a very double-minded attitude.

This passage in James helped me to realize that my motivation for my complaint was completely self-serving. I actually handled the interaction the correct way, and I have determined that I do not need to shop at that store again, and I do not need for the store manager to apologize to me for my embarrassment. The scripture above has a very good prescription for embarrassing situations. Embarrassment takes our eyes off of God, and focuses on ourselves. We view ourselves as victims, when in reality, we are sinners who are loved by God. Humbling ourselves before God, even when we feel like victims will allow God to exalt us!