"According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death" (Philippians 1:20).
Paul frequently looked ahead, anticipating future events with confidence as if they had already happened or at least were secure. In this verse, he likewise projected beyond his present circumstances to predict the outcome of faithfulness--not being ashamed at the time of evaluation.
Shame is that painful feeling of having lost the respect of others because of improper behavior, incompetence, or selfishness. It implies that the person has already thought about the consequences of the action and is aware that they might be found out in the course of events, but acts improperly anyway. In that awful moment of discovery, no defense is possible, and the pale shock is followed by a rapid flush of blood to the skin, where the truth is revealed in an unmistaken emotional display that the world can read.
Ezra experienced that deep feeling as he came before God to confess for his people their disobedience and how they had forsaken His commandments (Ezra 9:10). "And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens" (v. 6).
So much better will be the comfortable posture of knowing that we have remained true to His admonitions and warnings: "And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming" (I John 2:28). Christ clearly stated the conditions: "For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels" (Luke 9:26). KBC