I’m Not Ashamed of You

I’m Not Ashamed of You

We are too often ashamed of fellow sinners. 
We love people when they’re growing, when they’re strong, when they’re transparent, when they’re popular. 
We love them when they love us, when they admire us, when they serve us.
But we’re easily ashamed when they fail us, disappoint us, neglect us, or embarrass us.
When their popularity wanes, our affection cools.
When they fall into shame, we keep our distance. 
Perhaps we will help this failing person, if we are understood as the superior, the evaluator, the doctor with a patient, the policeman with the criminal. That kind of association is safe. 
But this is not gospel love. 
Gospel love gladly delights in the image bearer, even when they are broken.
Gospel love gladly embraces the prodigal, even when they smell of failure.
Gospel love gladly associates with the despised, even when they deserve their shame. 
Gospel love calls the sinner away from sin, but gladly calls them friend throughout their journey. 
No one’s reputation is worse than my own–a sinner against a holy God, forgiven through atoning grace.
Every Christian should be ashamed of me, but so many of my brothers and sisters have not been.
If God is not ashamed of me, then fellow brother or sister, I must never be ashamed of you.