White Feather: How To Bear Disgrace

A white feather has often been associated with disgrace, cowardice, or shame. The tradition of giving a white feather is questionable – especially when given unjustly. Yet, even when deserved, it’s hard to bear disgrace in life. To be misunderstood. To wonder what went wrong. To be judged. Justly accused. Or falsely accused.

You make a mistake you regret. A group concludes something not true about you. A fellow employee shuns you because of what you said. A life friend pulls back with no good reason. You pray long and hard, do the right thing – and are punished as a result. Wow.

Most people struggle under the searing pain of others’ hot, piercing conclusions at some time in life. You feel fragile when it happens. At best, you feel vulnerable. At worst, your world is imploding. What do you do when this awful scenario is your reality – your fault or not?

There is help. But you must open your mind and heart to receive it. Jesus knows you thoroughly, every detail of your life to the very center. The good, the bad, the ugly. The sin. The innocence. The poor choice. The excellent decision. The cowardice. The faithfulness. Jesus is your biggest fan and loves you deeply, even with all this intimate knowledge about you. If you are like me, you’ve had moments of failure. Yet, you’ve also had moments you persevered gallantly. Yet – you suffered! Doesn’t seem fair!

Regardless of the circumstances, Jesus is always with you!

  • when you are wrong
  • when you are right
  • when you are alone
  • when you feel shunned or ostracized
  • when you are judged
  • when others don’t understand your sufferings.

Jesus makes it His business to know – and to pull you close. He offers His comfort and companionship. He also offers forgiveness . . . if you happen to need it.

It helps to remember 2 things in your situation of disgrace:

  • Jesus is your High Priest. He carried His own blood into the Holiest Place for you. There, He took up your case (guilty as charged) before God. He “stood in” for you as His holy love caused mercy to triumph over judgement. He did something radical about it.
  • Jesus became your Sacrifice. He died outside the city where sacrificed animals’ bodies were burned. On the outside where there is loneliness, suffering, persecution, misunderstanding, punishment, unfair treatment. In His sufferings, He became your sin, your pain, your death. He also became your faithful Partner in unfair and unjust sufferings.

Jesus received your white feather. Your High Priest and your Sacrifice knows how to cleanse, to heal, to comfort you. He can renew and remake you. Jesus lifts you above deserved consequences. He also knows how to hold you steady in unjust sufferings. He does it all! There is no life circumstance this amazing Person cannot beautifully manage for you. Jesus wants to:

  • be with you and have you close
  • bring you inside God’s love
  • forgive you
  • give you eternal life
  • welcome and befriend you
  • empathize in your sufferings – deserved or unfair.
  • help you
  • heal you.

Will you receive His incredible kindness?

Are you willing to bear disgrace with Jesus – no longer for yourself, but for His sake? For His name? For His purposes? Will you receive His Lordship over your “worst” moments and your “better” moments?

God’s white feather key opened the gates of Heaven – for you. How will you respond to His deep love?

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Article developed from Heb. 13:11-14.


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