by Ruth Olsen
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Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame (Romans 10:11).
Have you ever felt embarrassed or shamed for trusting someone or something? I imagine this has happened to everyone at some point, also because that is how our spiritual enemy likes to work –shut us down. After all, he specialises in accusing the followers of Jesus (see Revelation 12:9–11) – or anyone, really.
Each of us may face attempts to shame or embarrass us for being a follower of Jesus. Maybe those doing so are testing us to see how we will respond. Perhaps they have a genuine question they don’t know how to ask or who to ask. How we answer them can be a turning point for them.
The verses preceding today’s reading speak of believing with your heart and confessing with your mouth who you believe, speaking of trusting Jesus (Romans 10:6–10). This contrasts with the efforts of the Jews (Israel) to get right with God, keeping the law instead of trusting in him. Taking God at his word and trusting him in and through Jesus is a ‘stumbling stone’ to fallen human nature that says, ‘I’ll do it my way’. But God’s ways of our being made right with him are not by our efforts or works, but by our trusting the one he has sent to us (Romans 9:30–10:10; John 6:29). As Isaiah wrote: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed”’ (Isaiah 28:16).
Is the message of Jesus a ‘stumbling stone’ to us also? Or do we believe that Jesus is the precious cornerstone and sure foundation, totally reliable and trustworthy – because of who he is and not because of what we are like? And are we willing for Holy Spirit to lead us in sharing that message and thereby have ‘beautiful feet’?
Holy Spirit, help us do the ‘sweet swap’ and leave our embarrassment and shame at the cross of Jesus in exchange for courageous love. Embed it in our hearts that ‘anyone who trusts in Jesus will never be put to shame’. Bless you! Amen.