The Gospel Is Worth the Embarrassment

This time last year, the craziest idea hit me. What if I taught a ladies Bible study at my kids’ public school? Would I even be allowed? Would anyone come? For weeks I prayed about it, asking the Lord if this whole thing was His idea or mine.

The more I prayed, the stronger my desire to take the gospel to my kids’ school grew. So I tested the waters and asked the principal for his thoughts on the idea. To my surprise, his response was, “Sure!”

Next, I talked to one of the teachers I go to church with. “What do you think?” I asked. 

“Yes, go for it,” she said. 

With no reason not to try, when the new school year began in August, I sent an email inviting all the female staff and teachers to an after-school Bible study.

As I prepared for our first meeting, I mostly felt excitement. Then when the day arrived and I walked into the school with my Bible tucked under my arm for our first after-school meeting, I felt something I hadn’t expected—embarrassment. 

As much as I don’t want to admit it, I suddenly felt uncomfortable walking into the school carrying my Bible. Silly, right? Except I know I’m not alone. When it comes to sharing spiritual truths, for some reason, it can feel embarrassing. And yet, the Word of God is the only reason I am who I am today. 

I Have Jesus to Thank for Everything 

It’s Jesus who’s changed my life. It’s Jesus who’s filled me with joy and given me purpose. This world is upside down and inside out, and I know Christ is the answer to turn it right. The gospel is a treasure worth everything I have (Matt. 13:44). There is nothing more valuable than eternal life in Christ.

Yet for some reason it feels weird to speak up about my faith. When someone asks me what I did today, it feels safer to gloss over the parts that include God. I say, “Well, I did some writing and listened to some music,” when a more accurate description would be, “I wrote about the excellencies of my Savior because He is amazing, and I sang along to some worship music because I just couldn’t help myself.”

Romans 10:15 says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” In other words, how lovely are those who speak up about their faith (even if it feels funny), because salvation comes by way of hearing the gospel. 

Christ hanging on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins is not fiction—it’s fact. The resurrection really happened. Trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins is the difference between spending eternity in heaven or hell. Friends, no matter how awkward it may feel, the gospel, “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16), is worth the embarrassment. 

Jesus Considered Us Worth It 

So what if I feel a little funny when I share Bible verses. So what if I get made fun of or people look at me weird. I wonder how many people looked at Jesus weirdly when He said things like “I am the bread of life” (John 6:48) or “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). 

Besides, how embarrassing was it for Jesus to hang on a cross for things he didn’t do and crimes he didn’t commit—the very apostasies God had punished Israel for and the ones still to come? How awkward did Christ feel when they branded him a criminal? How uncomfortable was it when they nailed him to the cross? 

Jesus never turned His back on God and yet there it was—all our backsliding and backhanded motivations and backwards thinking that labeled Jesus the crucified Lamb of God. 

I get embarrassed if people call me a “goody-two shoes” due to my conservative thinking, but they called Christ a fool due to his divine thinking. I get embarrassed if a picture doesn’t capture my best side, but Christ was naked from every side. They stripped Him, spat on Him, and scorned Him—and He let them. 

Christ considered you and me and our kids and grandkids and every generation before and after us worth the embarrassment. And by the way, He still does. I have no doubt, even if time started over, Jesus would go through the embarrassment of saving us again. But would we? Even though the last time we shared the gospel it didn’t go as well as we’d hoped, are we willing to try it again? Are we willing to risk a little awkwardness for the sake of another’s salvation? 

So What if It Feels Awkward?

I had fifteen ladies at that first school Bible study, and in the weeks since I’ve had fewer ladies, but those who committed to come have been eager to study the Word. On several occasions I’ve had the opportunity to step in and share truth when it was needed, encourage them after a long disheartening day, and pray with them regarding personal matters. 

I’ve enjoyed getting to know them, and as far as I can tell, they’ve enjoyed studying God’s Word with me. But do you know what’s never gone away week after week as I walk into the school? The feeling of embarrassment. I don’t know why it shows up, but I’m learning to live with it because the gospel is worth the discomfort.

If Jesus wasn’t too embarrassed to claim me, then I shouldn’t be too embarrassed to claim Him. If Jesus loved me enough to bear my sin, no matter the ramifications, then I can love Him enough to speak His name—no matter the ramifications. Jesus didn’t count His feeling as more important—Jesus counted us as more important. 

It’s okay if we feel a little awkward, but it’s not okay to let the awkwardness win the moment. Philippians 2:3–4 says, “In humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” 

If it means a lost soul can experience the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus as Lord, then let me be embarrassed. If it means a neighbor or friend or family member is delivered from the dominion of darkness unto the kingdom of God (Col. 1:13), then every bit of awkwardness is worth it. A small moment of discomfort is nothing compared to eternal ever-lasting moments of glory. 

Jesus Christ, the King of kings, has risen and reigns on high. He sacrificed Himself for our sanctification, and there’s nothing embarrassing about that. What’s embarrassing is having the key to heaven’s door and never opening it for another. When it comes to matters of life and death, heaven or hell, reconciliation or condemnation, we can’t let a little awkwardness get in the way. 

Life in Christ is the most valuable treasure anyone could ever possess, and it’s available to everyone who asks. Though we might feel a little funny when sharing about God’s amazing grace it’s not embarrassing—it’s life-giving. 

Embarrassment often implies shame, but with Christ as our Savior we have nothing to be ashamed of. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). So speak up and out and into this world with confidence dear friends. The gospel is still worth it. 

About the Author

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery

Stacey Salsbery is a farmer’s wife and mother of four—or as she likes to say, “President of Home Operations.” Stacey loves teaching women the Bible and along with her family makes her home in the cornfields of Indiana. For more, … read more …

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