Shame was really the first evidence of sin. In that garden called Eden, Adam & Eve dishonoured God by eating the forbidden fruit. Immediately they became ashamed of their nakedness. I can’t begin to comprehend all that happened in that moment of history, but I can empathize. I know shame, the sting of it and the weight of it. I’ve felt the flush of shame and the instant regret when I’ve chosen a path of death instead of life. I’ve also known the shame that crushes in as a result of lies and accusations being made against me. The kind that sounds true but under the surface is a mass of tangled lies, designed to cut to the core and fill us up with pain. The good news is, no matter which way shame arrives, there’s one solution. One cure, one way to move on and move past the ugliness that’s unloaded when shame opens the door.
God came looking for us in our shame. Adam! Where are you? He will never leave you or forsake you. Don’t think for a minute that He didn’t know what happened when He was out of sight. He knew the disobedience, He knew the choice for death, and still He came seeking us. God never intended for His kids to know the sting of shame. Who told you that you’re naked? He replied to Adam’s shame. He designed the garden of Eden so that they would never even know they were naked. We were never supposed to have anything to be ashamed of. But once the door is open, God will never leave us there. Here, I made you a covering. God designed a garment that was unnecessary in His eyes, but was a gift to ease the sting of shame for us.
This Adam & Eve, this original mother and father, the first to feel the power of shame to destroy us, are not so different from you and me. There’s nothing especially wicked about them, or especially vulnerable. The only one righteous enough to escape shame is Jesus Christ, and even He endured attacks and lies meant to drown Him in shame. How did He respond? Well He didn’t… He was frustratingly silent in the face of His accusers. He stopped His friends from defending Him. Put an ear back on after the zealous Peter chopped it off to try to protect Jesus from this shame. But what Jesus did do, is draw near to His Father. He went back to the place of intimacy, He made sure His relationship with God was restored, protected, and reinforced His identity as a Son.
So whatever circumstance has brought shame into your life – whether it’s a disobedient moment or season in your life, or the attacks and lies of others inflicting shame, here’s the way forward. Answer God’s cry for intimacy with you. He’s searching you out – to restore and redeem, not to condemn or inflict punishment. The shame that weighs you down is no surprise to Him, so hiding from Him is only an illusion. Allow Him to find you, and prioritize your intimacy with the Father. Get close enough to see the kindness in eyes, close enough to hear the depth of grace in His whispers. Let Him remind you of your true identity as His Beloved. And every time the pull of shame threatens to pull you under again, crawl up into His lap and fill your vision with His face. It won’t be long till the tendrils of shame no longer have any grip on you.
Is there life after shame? Yes, Beloved, yes. When you allow God to clothe you in the righteousness of Christ, when you prioritize intimacy and invest time and faith in your relationship with the Father, there is abundant life. If you can’t imagine ever being vulnerable again, if you’re sure that this shame is a seal on your fate, this is your moment. Our God? He’s the God of comebacks. He’s the God of redemption. And you are His.
“Because of his great love, he ordained us as one with Christ from the beginning, so that we would be seen as holy in his eyes with an unstained innocence.”
– Ephesians 1:4b TPT