Freedom and Shame

Paul would not pass a background check; too many arrests. He may not be allowed to teach Sunday School. But from his perspective, prison is a predetermined event in the unfolding of redemptive history. He is simply playing the role God cast him in, so he rejoices. He would never be proven wrong because God will never be proven wrong, thus “…if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name” (1 Peter 4:16). Uniquely, freedom from shame is not keyed to circumstances. It transcends circumstances. After all the situation is shameful. Denying it would be lying. It would be self-deception. His point is that trial and imprisonment don’t really matter. Ultimate victory in God matters, and that is exhibited through Paul’s life or through his death. Freedom from shame means always winning in the end.