Day 17: Shame or Embarrassment
Read: Genesis 3:6-7
Sometimes, we get the concepts of shame and embarrassment mixed up. I have gotten embarrassed countless times in my life. Whenever I walk into class or an event late and have people staring at me, I blush a little. When I’m singing and my voice cracks, I get embarrassed. Once, my dress was tucked into my underwear when I left the restroom, and that was definitely embarrassing.
But, I’ve only truly felt shame a couple of times in my life. The first was when I realized what sin meant, and Who I was sinning against. That was when I was still a kid, and I was becoming aware of right and wrong. I remember my world crumbling for a while after that.
The second time was when I finally overcame a secret sin I had been keeping with myself for around five years. Coming to terms with the fact that I acted one way in public but in my heart was totally different was something that caused me to feel shame.
As we continue to look at the story of the Fall, we all know what Eve does next. Genesis 3:6 says, “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.”
With simple words of trickery, the human race fell through one bad decision. It wasn’t just an act of Adam and Eve feeding themselves something that stood for pride and self-praise, it was the first-ever step of disobedience against God. They were enticed into a sinful act and that was the end of freedom from the bad in the world.
In Genesis 2:25 says that before that fateful act, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” They were living perfect lives, without the slightest concept of what it felt like to be humiliated. But . . . after they ate of the fruit, “The eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” (Genesis 3:7). Their eyes were opened, and they experienced shame. They realized what they had done, and there was no turning back from it.
It is so clearly written, when we go against the Lord, the same fate awaits us. Jeremiah 17:13 says, “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you shall be put to shame; those who turn away from you shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water.” I can’t imagine the kind of shame Adam and Eve experienced. In a moment, they were transformed from perfect beings to sinful creatures.
Because of the Fall, there is no way to avoid our sinful nature, but God gave us the ability to be transformed and, through Him, to make godly decisions. Pray that He will give you the strength to do what is right and holy in His eyes. Pray for those around you who are trapped in shame. Be the light in their lives.
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