By Christine Caine

Genesis 2:25 (NIV)
Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

God made humanity to know no shame. The devil’s goal is to get you to feel so bad that you want to hide from the presence of God--because in the presence of God, chains break.

Do not confuse guilt with shame. Guilt is about what we do, but shame is about who we are. Guilt says “I did something wrong, and I can run to God,” while shame says, “I am wrong, and I have to run from God.”

Shame tells us that we are not good enough, not intelligent enough, not attractive enough. We were never intended to carry shame. The very first thing the devil wanted to do to damage God’s creation was to inflict shame.

The enemy is after our fruitfulness. He wants to render us ineffective, and he will always try to shame you in the area that God wants to use you in the future.

Genesis 3:1 (NIV)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The enemy uses the line, “Did God really say…?” to cast doubt on Eve’s understanding of who God is. He wants us to question the Word of God in order to undermine the goodness of God.

If we do not know what God really said, we will believe the lies thrown at us by our culture, the media, and other people. The Bible says that the truth will set us free, but it can only set us free if we know it (John 8:32).

When we believe anything other than God’s truth about ourselves, we will live a contained life, limited by the opinions of others. If you don’t know what God really said, then you will believe what the enemy says.

When Adam and Eve felt ashamed, they sewed fig leaves to cover themselves (Genesis 3:7). Only God’s grace can cover us from head to toe, unlike the minimal coverage that shame affords us.

The enemy is after your faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” (Hebrews 11:6). Only when we understand the goodness of God can we be obedient to him. This means that even when he asks us to do something we do not understand, we do it anyway because we trust who he is.

Genesis 3:8-11 (NIV)
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
And he said, “Who told you that you were naked?...”

Fear, shame, and hiding are all present in our first recorded conversation with God. The first words God said to Adam and Eve according to scripture is, “Where are you?”

Of course God knew where they were; he was asking them to locate themselves. His question was, “Where is the “you” that I created.”

The second question God asked was “Who told you?” Shame can influence us to seek the validation of others and elevate the voice of others above the voice of God.

The enemy wants you to believe that you are not enough, that you should feel ashamed, and you should hide from God. But the grace of God is greater than your sin. Let Jesus cover you so that you can run to God and experience freedom in his presence.

Make what Jesus did for you bigger than what was done to you.

John 8:32
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you believe about yourself and your identity?

  2. What does God say in his Word about who you are? Do you believe him?

  3. If God were to ask you where you are right now, what would your answer be?

  4. Are there areas in your life you have shut down due to shame?

  5. What lies have you been believing based on what has been done to you, or what you have been told about yourself (by other people, culture or the media)? Contrast that with what Jesus did for you. How does that alter your perspective?