At Heb.12:2,3 Paul encouraged us to “look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus.” The reason was that he (Jesus) didn’t lose focus of “the joy that was set before him” especially during the time “he endured a torture stake, despising shame,” Then focusing on our personal application of this Paul continues: “Indeed, consider closely the one who has endured such contrary talk by sinners against their own interests, that you may not get tired and give out in your souls.”
I understand that Jesus “despised shame” in that he was willing to suffer the humiliation of dying as a common criminal. He was charged with being a seditionist, a blasphemer and a liar. Can you even imagine Jesus saying to his Father something like: “Wait a minute, I’m willing to die for these people but don’t take away my dignity. Don’t make me die utterly humiliated!” Yet that is exactly what happened to him.
I can learn a lesson from this. I’ve said in the past that I don’t mind being humble but being humiliated is just more than I can bear, especially when I am falsely represented or even accused. But then I am forced to remember Paul’s words in verse three—essentially, we need to reflect deeply on Jesus’ example because doing so will help us not to “get tired and give out” in our integrity. Yes, no matter what those who talk against us say, we know what we need to do to keep ourselves right with God and Jesus. Whatever the humiliation we are suffering, if we have made our peace with God, we can be assured of his kind and tender affection.
Especially for those who may have undergone some corrective counsel, it can be easy to feel embarrassed (“shamed”) for what happened.* We may be inclined to stop associating with our brotherhood. But instead, we can be like Jesus and despise (not give into) the shame of the situation but hold our heads up, not in pride, but in confidence that we are going to do our very best in the situation regardless of whatever negativity we are subjected to. In that way, we can truly prove the caliber of person we are.
* To a certain extent, if we have committed a wrong, some degree of shame is natural. But Paul helps up to get a right viewpoint at 2 Corinthians 7:10, “For sadness in a godly way makes for repentance to salvation that is not to be regretted; but the sadness of the world produces death.”