Today’s Illustration: The Two Causes Of Blushing

What: Blushing

  • “Blushing is an involuntary reaction” [1]
  • Blushing communicates human emotions.
  • It is called — “the most peculiar and the most human of all expressions.”
  • Cause: It is caused by the “speeding up your heart rate and dilating your blood vessels to improve your blood flow and oxygen delivery.” [1]
  • “This response doesn’t happen anywhere else in your body, which is why you don’t blush all over.”
  • Blushing affects the neck and face.
  • Typically, people try to hide their face when they blush.
  • There are no known animals that experience this phenomenon.
  • Its Proposed Purposes: 
    The suggested reasons as to why people blush are basically two-fold.
    #1- It keeps people honest since they can’t hide how they feel.
    #2 – It communicates regret and remorse, and that makes it easier for people to forgive.

    –“It keeps us honest” — You have been caught . . . . We can’t fake that it did not affect us. [1]
    — It signals that we know what we have done and that there is regret, remorse, humiliation, or shame. [2]
    — It signals that we would rather not have something said about us, that we are embarrassed — i.e. after being given a compliment. [2]
    — It makes it easier to forgive — “A team of Dutch psychologists discovered that people are more likely to forgive and view favorably someone who has committed an embarrassing act if he or she is visibly blushing. [2]
    — “Blushing can help others predict your future behavior, assuming that you, like many others, do not enjoy being embarrassed and have learned from your mistakes.” [2]

  • “As soon as he walks into the room, flashing you a quick grin, your cheeks take on a light shade of red. You feel the crimson washing over your face, but there’s nothing you can do — you’re blushing.  Turns out, this cheek-coloring reaction is a universal human response to social attention.” [3]



Key Illustrative Thoughts:

  • shame
  • embarrassment
  • emotions
  • forgiveness
  • wrong-doing
  • communication / non-verbal communication
  • failure
  • honesty
  • confession
  • inconsistency
  • say versus do
  • hypocrisy


Sermonic Example:

(use whatever information from above you find useful)

. . . . Has someone ever complimented you publicly, and you felt your face get red as the blood went to your cheeks.  We feel embarrassed that such attention is being paid to us.

Nevertheless, at times, blushing is caused by public embarrassment because we have violated our own stated beliefs.

When we have violated what we have stated we believe, we will feel the emotion of shame; we are embarrassed. Our face and/or neck will get red because we know we have been caught.  What we say/said doesn’t fit what we did!

David is going to be confronted by the Prophet Nathan.  He’s been caught, and he knows it — and the nation will come to know it! . . . . .



We live in a world where this is no shame, little blushing over what should be the cause of a lot of blushing.   Red-faced is not what happens when it comes to words, actions, lifestyles that are shameful.  You want to say “You ought to be embarrassed!”  But there is little to no shame. . .



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