The NIV 365 Day Devotional
Not Ashamed (Romans 1:8–17)
What caused your cheeks to blush red in elementary school? Being picked last for recess games? Not knowing the answer when called on? Now think about your adolescent days. Were you embarrassed if a cute boy looked your way—or if he didn’t? If someone pointed out that your clothes weren’t like those of the other girls? Did you cower in humiliation if you were forced to give a speech or forgot your lines in the school play?
Today we might be ashamed if our children get in trouble or if we fail to keep our temper. We may feel ashamed if we neglect prayer or realize we haven’t done much for anyone but ourselves for a long while. Not to worry, God has freed us to walk in this world unashamed. In Christ there is forgiveness and a new start. Later in the book of Romans Paul proclaimed, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). In fact, there is only one real reason to be ashamed: if we’re ashamed of the gospel message. Paul made sure his readers knew that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Indeed, he was eager to tell everyone about it—Greeks and non-Greeks, intellectuals and the uneducated, the wise and the foolish.
Maybe you’re embarrassed to let people know you are a Christian. You think it might not be accepted in more “sophisticated” circles. You worry that you’ll be labeled a “Jesus Freak,” a “religious fanatic” or someone who needs a “crutch.”
Maybe you don’t share your faith because you think your credentials aren’t good enough. You’re afraid that you don’t have the right education or that you haven’t memorized enough Scripture or that you haven’t been a believer long enough. But think of the many people who were saved in the Bible who immediately went and told others about their encounter with Christ. The key is that they told their story—and you know your story backward and forward.
If you’re not ashamed of Jesus, the best way to overcome fear of speaking out is to “just do it.” Keep it simple, keep it honest, but talk to your neighbors, tell your friends and family, and share the story about how Jesus redeemed you. The more you speak, the more your confidence will grow . . . and the more God will be glorified.
Taken from NIV Women’s Devotional Bible