Last month I started writing a series of posts entitled The Road To Redemption that look at the Gospels story (our sin and God sending Christ redeem us) through all of Scripture. This is necessary since we live in a culture that no longer has a foundation of Christian Truth, so instead of starting to share the Gospel with John 3:16, we must begin with Genesis 1:1.
Part One of of this series looked at the fact that Scripture doesn’t try to prove the existence of God while Part Two focused on the Rebellion of Satan, and our core problem (the desire to be God). Today’s post is about the first sin Adam and Eve committed, and how it creates a cycle of sinful actions to this day.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened , and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed figleaves together , and made themselves aprons,
The moment Adam and Eve ate the fruit their sin nature took control, which resulted in Adam giving up the leadership role in the relationship (Genesis 3:9-10), their blaming one another and the snake instead of taking responsibility (3:11-13), being cursed by God (3:16-19), and separation from the Lord (3:21-24). It is interesting to notice the first thing Adam and Eve did after realizing their sinfulness was to hide themselves.
Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves (3:7) and hid from God because for the first time in their lives they were ashamed of their nakedness. One of Satan’s favorite weapons is shame because it almost always leads to our covering the problem ourselves instead of turning to God or others for help. Of course the moment you or I decide to hide a humiliating or embarrassing part of our lives we take the place of God (controlling the situation) and that is sin.
It’s amazing the amount of sin that comes into our lives as we attempt to cover up a weakness or sin. As a college student I developed the habit of lying to cover up embarrassing things like forgetting an appointment, or a bounced check. As you can imagine telling a lie became a response to other things (I became very good at it) and eventually I became a compulsive liar.
Thankfully the Lord gave me the strength to break that habit, but other responses were embraced instead; such as never asking for help from anyone ever…..and I do mean EVER since that allows me to hide the shameful or embarrassing part of my life. I jokingly tell people that I will ask for help only if someone is beating me to death with my own arm (after ripping it off my body). Okay so there is a slight amount of sarcasm there 🙂 but most of us are unwilling to share that ugly part of our lives till it’s absolutely necessary.
Shame does bring us to sin which is why some individuals choose to share that embarrassing part of their lives openly. There is a sense where vulnerability (a willingness to share our shame with others) is a good thing, but this doesn’t mean we should go around telling everyone our deep dark secrets in my opinion. This may make us feel better but it isn’t really a Redemption from our shame, and can actually make things worse. My favorite book of all time is When Man is Big and God is Small by Dr. Ed Welch. In it he explains that we are addicted to the approval of others to the point where people MUST love us in order for our lives to feel fulfilled. Over-sharing shame will lead to the sympathy and encouragement of others (definitely a good thing) but we can also create an addiction to the feeling that comes when others encourage us.
So how are we Redeemed from shame? Simply understand how ridiculous it is to hide from a God who sees everything. The Lord obviously saw Adam and Eve trying to hide behind a bush, but He asked where they where, and why they were hiding so they would have an opportunity to share their shame. In this situation Adam and Eve should have confessed the sin of eating from the tree, and ask God for help with the emotions in their heart. Unfortunately they used this an opportunity to blame one another, but the Lord still desires each one of us to confess our shame.
This involves taking away whatever we have covered that embarrassing experience, sin, or habit with and allowing God to see that in all it’s painful Glory. The good news is God will take away that shame through the death of Christ but He still waits for us to confess it. Shame unfortunately is a part of life but it can be used to display in a clear way the Gospel of Christ as we admit the fact we aren’t God, and turn to Him for healing.