The Power of Shame

Thursday, October 7th, 2021

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I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. ~Lk 11:8

I wanted to go with the common “ask and you will receive” but this quote caught my attention after reading what “persistence” meant in those times.

It seems the meaning of “persistence” in the times of Jesus didn’t mean firm resolve to a course of action despite the difficulty. It meant, shamelessness.

When I have read this passage before, I had assumed “persistence” referred to the one asking for bread continuing to ask until the other gave him the bread.

Nope…that’s not what Jesus was talking about.

This passage is about the owner of the house either helping his friend (a person of equal honor status) either because of their relationship or because of the shame it would bring when the town found out he didn’t help his friend with a menial request for bread, a part of every daily meal.

Now, the passage poses a different challenge.

For which reason am I helping someone in need?

Is it because I truly want to help them or is it my concern about the reputation and status it gives me after helping them?

It’s is interesting human behavior to do things motivated by the fear of what others may think of us. It’s a powerful force.

Today, I seek to make the conscious decision to do what is right not because of what others may think but because I am committed to doing what I believe is right for myself and others.

In peace,


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