And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed[i]. This is how it was in the beginning. People walked with God, in a beautiful garden, totally naked! Although it was clearly a physical nakedness I also believe it was a nakedness of heart. They had nothing to hide from God, absolutely nothing at all. Shame was something that they had NEVER known! Can you imagine that - never, ever having known shame?
We carry all sorts of shame. Most woman are ashamed of some of their physical features, most women are ashamed of bad things they have done and most woman are ashamed of who they have not become!
Shame is a big part of modern living, isn’t it? So let’s get to the bottom of this so that we can live a life that is free from shame. Let’s get back to walking carefree with God in this garden we call Earth.
Since we are on a gardening theme, let’s use some gardening principles. If you want to get rid of a bothersome plant or tree, you have to dig it up by the roots. If you don’t get rid of the roots the tree will keep popping up again and again. It will NEVER go away no matter what you do. You simply have to dig up the root! So let’s plan our gardening project by first analysing the situation and then forming a ‘root lifting’ strategy.
So what is the root of shame? Let us take a peek back at Adam and Eve. They did not have any shame and then we read a little bit later on that they did have shame. Observation number one is that they were not ashamed and observation number two was that their nakedness was what caused the shame.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.
The second observation is who were they hiding their shame from? There were no other human beings at the time so they weren’t ashamed of being seen naked in public; it was God that they were trying to hide their shame from.
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees.
The next step is to uncover why this happened. Was it because Eve took a bite out of the forbidden fruit? Or was there perhaps a step before the famous ‘bite’? Let’s take a look.
And He said, “Who told you that you were naked?
Don’t you find this interesting? God didn’t ask ‘why’ they ate the fruit. God did however ask them ‘who told you’ you were naked! Yes the problem was that they ate the forbidden fruit but the question is why did they do exactly what God told them not to do? They took the bite because of the conversation they had with the devil and “the woman was convinced”[ii].
Their vulnerability has not been exposed before, they didn’t realise that they were completely ‘bare’ before God in every possible way.
So in conclusion, we are ashamed of our vulnerability before God because we listened to the devil which results in us hiding from God. It’s that simple!
The solution is equally simple. Let's stop listening to the devil and get back to being 'naked' before our God so that we can live free and unashamed, just as it was in the beginning. Lies from the devil are easy to find, turn on your TV or flip through a magazine, check your mail or read your bank statement. Lies are everywhere and the message is strong! Lies scream out at you that you need to buy things on credit or that you need to be a size 0 to be acceptable in this world.
I wonder if one day when we meet God face to face, He will ask us the same question He asked Adam and Eve, “Who told you that you were naked?” Or “Who told you that you were fat? Or “Who told you that you had to use credit to shop?” or “Who told you that you were unloved?” or “Who told you that you were unacceptable to Me?”
Who are you listening to? What would you say to God if He asked you the same question that He asked Adam & Eve? There are still only two voices to listen to, just like in the garden that day – God’s voice and the devils voice. It truly is that simple.
The root of our shame is lies. If we want to uproot the tree of shame, we have to remove the root of lies. Living free from shame is to live free from lies! Living free from lies is a choice, the same choice Adam and Eve had. If you listen to the devil he WILL convince you and if you listen to God you will remain free and unashamed.
I could stop right here because it truly is that simple. The only reason I am continuing to type is because I know that as I am telling you the truth the devil is up to his old tricks trying to convince you otherwise. So let me play his game and convince you of the truth. Everything starts in the mind, even your shame.