Why We Sin: We Forget Shame

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 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.” (Genesis 3:7-8)

“We’re naked!” That’s the response of the first couple after committing the first human sin. They took the bite expecting to find wisdom, knowledge, something God had been keeping from them. Instead, they found shame. They hoped for freedom and power and instead found themselves running in fear.

down_350The sting of the serpent’s tempting lies was hidden in the truthful part of what he’d said. Their eyes were opened. They did learn about good and evil – by doing evil. But they did not become like God. Instead, they became much less than they had been: innocent, closely connected to their creator, shameless.

I think everyone reading these words has felt the shame of being caught in sin – or even of thinking about being caught in sin. It’s a sick, sinking feeling. It’s a trapped feeling. You want to hide, get away, escape, just like Eve and Adam tried to do. You want to be away from God instead of close to the one who made you, the source of your life, healing, and hope.

The point of remembering that feeling isn’t to keep feeling guilty for sin God has already forgiven. The point of remembering is to a) want really badly not to feel it again and b) be really glad that God has forgiven you because of Jesus.

Think: Do you think shame can sometimes be an appropriate thing to feel? Why do you think some people want to tell us that feeling ashamed is always a bad thing? How do you avoid wallowing in false guilt for sins that God has already forgiven?

Pray: Thank God for forgiving all of your sin through your faith in Jesus, including the sins you felt most ashamed of. Ask Him to help you to keep from wanting to go back to the sins that made you feel that way in the first place.

Do: Read what Paul wrote about sin, sorrow, repentance, and regret in 2 Corinthians 7:10.