This is controversial to say in today’s society but I see the value of shame and it’s sorely these last days.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”New International Version, 2 Timothy 3:1-5
The Value Of Shame As Explained By 2 Timothy 3:1-5
That verse explains what’s wrong with the people in the world today. There’s no need to spend money on expensive, long-term studies hidden behind scientific journal paywalls. Or waste time interviewing different cohorts of people all over the world and boil down their detailed explanations into blurbs. Just read that verse written millennia ago and compare the people in your life, be it family or strangers, to see exactly what’s wrong with them.
2 Timothy, or the Second Epistle to Timothy, is a letter Paul The Apostle wrote to Timothy, a missionary, to assist him in the ministry. Paul knew his death was close and aid those who would be left behind to preach God’s word.
There is disagreement about the “last days” the New Testament speaks of, including the opening verse. Some thing the last days is the time before Jesus’ Second Coming, while others thing the last days was the terrible period Christians went through after Jesus’ crucifixion and preaching Christianity among terrible persecution. I am a believer in the former viewpoint. So that probably leads you to this question: “Brittany, do you believe we’re in the last days?” My name is yes.
Here’s Why I Think We’re Living In The Last Days
I look around the society I live in today and compare it to the previous ones. People are lovers of themselves, as one only has to view any social media platform to see just that. As for lovers of money, how many scams exist to steal others money? How many people sell their bodies (and their souls) for money? Too many. Look through the rest of the horrible traits the people will have in the last days and it’s all too easy to see them prevalent in society today. Which leads me to believe we’re living in the last days.
What Does That Verse Have To Do With The Value Of Shame?
Yet, this essay is not about that topic; it’s about shame. So what does 2 Timothy 3:1-5 has to do with the value of shame?
That Bible verse describes what happens to people who lose their shame and do not have others around to reapply it via words and/or actions. These “No Shames” become lovers of themselves, of money, of pride, of violence, of gluttony, of sin in general. I’ve watched and currently watching people sink into the abyss, becoming fat physically, mentally, and spiritually from their lack of shame. They slowly come to the incorrect their lifestyle is proper because so many live just as they do.
That’s the problem with the “No Shames”: They reproduce quickly, like a virus. Shame was an invisible connection between people that kept them in line. Yet, when one person breaks their connection and live without shame, the others see this and some decide to break their connection too. As more break these bonds society changes for the worse. The sins of the flesh lose their taboo and become legalized. It’s fine to boast about one’s pride even though it’s setting oneself for a fantastic fall. Finally, slander and treachery slithers through the “No Shames,” pitting family member against family member, and neighbor against neighbor.
The Biggest Problem With The “No Shames”
The biggest problem with the “No Shames” is their love of pleasure over God. The latter requires much work and sacrifice. And God has specific rules for living a godly life which flies against the lifestyle the “No Shames” live. When “No Shames” live for pleasure it is usually involves the flesh. And God won’t provide that.
Yet, a godly life is one where a person shuns some indulgences because it’s sinful or harmful or both. However, modern society teaches the people to seek bliss, not the Creator of such. That is why humans, who have a form of godliness but denies its power, are in such a poor state today.
It’s because the “No Shames” outnumber the ones who have shame. And the former is able to dictate the mores of society. They are able to trick too many into believing shame is an outdated idea and incompatible with modern life. Thus, the “No Shames” no longer have to dodge the disapproving looks and biting rebukes. When most people think wrong isn’t wrong then it isn’t wrong. The “No Shames” finally convinced the masses traditional ideals aren’t progressive and aren’t in sync with modern society.
Unfortunately, more and more people accept this flawed line of thought because some want to indulge in their fleshly desires too. People would love to drink freely without reproach, or express themselves sexually in public without admonishment. They know what they want to do is wrong but once they join this ever-growing group they become lost in the crowd. No random shame-fearing person can point at them with scorn.
Other Join Due To Pressure
Now there are others who join the “No Shames” because they feel pressure to cave into the ever-growing group. These people know what the group is doing is wrong but they don’t want to be seen as bigots or phobics. They fear the public learning of their faults and shaming them, which is funny because the “No Shames” want to banish shame. The old saying appears to be true: People become the thing they hate. Beside shame the “No Shames” employ bullying to get their way. It works just as good as shame, maybe even a little better.
I feel for these people because they join the mob under duress. Some lack the willpower to decline. Others are gullible and think it’s the right move.
In a sense the “No Shames” bastardize the value of shame because it is a virtue that keeps people on the moral path. Now, they use it to force people into debauchery.
The Value Of Shame Is In Its Ability To Work So Well
Why does the proper use of shaming work so well? Because it forces people to use logic and reason to make life decisions instead of emotion. The former comes our brain while the latter comes from the heart. While humans know they should listen to their brain over their heart sometimes we don’t. That because emotion is manipulative and can be faulty. It convinces people to make a bad decision because it feels right, even when their brain tries to stop them.
The feelings of the heart is hard to fight. I’ve been there myself, and probably you too, reader. I knew the right thing to do but I allowed my emotions to dictate my movements. That lead to problems, ones I could’ve avoided if I listened to my brain. And that’s what the “No Shames” are betting on: The populace using their emotions instead of logic and reason to make decisions. That way the “No Shames” don’t have to realize how corrupted their lives are, nor will their family, friends, or neighbors.
And this is why we need shame: To keep people from allowing their flesh leading themselves and others into sin. Will this happen anytime soon? I think not. The ever-growing mob increases in followers and strength each day. The people trying to bring back shame are weak but they continue to press on. I think society won’t come to their senses until the entire world is in ruin. Or maybe not. Maybe these people want to live in a world of unbridled fleshly desires. Then there will be no need to hide at all because everyone is just as depraved as their neighbor.