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The Shame that Makes you Hide



Do you have a memory of a particularly painful or embarrassing sin that haunts you? Or maybe there is a sin that you are currently battling but cannot seem to get over. In either case, you find yourself unable to share your struggle or pain because you are so ashamed of the secrets that you hold.


This is an all too common phenomenon for Christians. But, just imagine with me for a moment that you were the very first person to ever sin. Imagine that no one could relate to you or give you advice or encouragement, because you WERE the first person to ever struggle. Imagine the shame and pain you would feel if you knew that because of your sin, everyone on earth would be cursed with death... Now this type of unbearable pain I thank God none of us have to deal with.


Let's take a look at what the first feelings of shame around sin looked like in Genesis 3:1-7,

"Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths." (ESV)


Now what you do not see in these seven verses is that both Adam and Eve eventually hid themselves from God. They were no longer living in perfect harmony with God, they knew that what they had just done was wrong and it separated them from a holy and perfect God. Even in their beautiful natural state, they felt instant shame and covered their bodies. It is interesting to think about how God initially designed us to be perfectly confident in our skin, no need to cover up or hide. It wasn't gross to be naked, things weren't warped or perverted. Oh how times have changed.


Adam and Eve had committed the first sin ever. And they have also modeled for us the first enactments of shame. Shame is when you cannot help but feel completely attached to your sin, almost as if you are your sin. Adam and Eve's sin caused them to hide, both physically from each other (in clothes) as well as from God himself.


It is funny to read this story and think to ourselves, "How could Adam and Eve actually think that they could hide themselves from the one who created them?" You are right in thinking to yourself that it is impossible! But the reality is that the same shame they felt then, causes millions of Christians today to hide from both God and each other. It is a cycle of sin and shame that cannot be broken unless we remember what Christ has done.


Read this good news from Romans 5:6-21


"6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."


Dear friend, if you are struggling with your sin and shame, pray and meditate on this passage. Read it in different translations if this version is too hard to understand (NIV or NLT). Journal your sins to God and bring it to him daily, ask him to take away your shame and remind you of your right standing in Christ. You are loved and fully accepted in Christ. Remember, the Father loves you just as much as he loves His son Jesus. I highly recommend that you take time to meditate on Romans 8:31-38 as well, as I believe this passage is also really great to read if you are struggling to believe that God loves you and chooses you daily despite your past.


In Christ,

Taylor

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