Shame… One of the oldest stories
The story goes, something like this…
God created an amazing world we now know as planet earth. Adam and Eve were the first two people he made, and so he gave him this beautiful garden full of potential and teaming with life.
All of this was theirs for the taking but with one little caveat… don’t eat the fruit of one specific tree.
Of course, we all know what happened.
They were tricked into eating the forbidden fruit by a cunning and clever serpent, which resulted in complete disaster – something the church world often refers to as the fall of mankind.
A story of limitless potential that results in a terrible ending.
It’s a story that we closely associate with something we call “sin” or original sin. The story of man’s disobedience to God, which results in a world, once full of life, now a place where people hurt and kill each other for gain and power.
But when I look at that story, not only do I see the cost of disobedience, but I see something else that’s pretty significant.
Before Adam and Eve ate the fruit, there was no such thing as shame in the garden. But after their misdeed, what does the story tell us?
“At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.”
After all, God never actually said to them that being naked was wrong.
What made them feel the need to go hide and get dressed?
I believe what we see here is that when they looked at each other for the first time completely bare, flaws and all, they didn’t like what they saw.
They didn’t like what they saw of their partner.
And they didn’t like what they saw about themselves.
And I think this is so significant for us, especially if you are seeking sexual integrity, because the thing that will keep you trapped in your unhealthy ways more than anything is shame.
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It’s that fear of being known for who we are.
It’s that disgust with our frailties and failures and the need to disguise them so no one else knows the real you.
When God confronted Adam and Eve, He didn’t say good job for finding some clothes. No. He said, Why are you hiding? Who told you that you’re naked?
Of course, He knew the answer to that question before He ever asked it; but it’s evident that His concern had nothing to do with their nudity or their poor fashion choices.
He was concerned about the fact that something had shifted in their consciousness causing them to want to go get dressed and cover up.
Understand, I’ve worked in this area of ministry for over a decade now and I can tell you one thing with 100% certainty…
Shame is the enemy.
Shame is really the devil.
It will suffocate you and keep you in the shadows where you will continue to hide and never actually find freedom.
Listen, talking about the stuff that we do is not comfortable. And for sure, it seems weird.
Telling someone about your sexual struggles, your desires, your questions, and insecurities may seem completely out of bounds, but in the end it should be completely natural.
It’s what we were created to do…
To be in communion.
To be known fully, without any hiding or masks.
We need to understand that while exposing ourselves to other people may create a great tension and challenge us more than anything we’ve ever done, it is no doubt one of the best things we can do for our soul and for our recovery.
Don’t keep looking for those fig leaves to hide your “nakedness” rather than stepping out and being known for whom you actually are, the real you, warts and all.
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