I saw a troubled friend recently; she was looking rather sheepish behind her mask, and rather fearful too.
It wasn’t until later that I learnt that she was really concerned about her eternal future, (she has been especially troubled by the propaganda of fear that is proliferating just now).
Shame and Fear,…
These two destructive emotions have been closely associated with each other for a very long time.
Let me take you way, way back to the beginning to explain,…
In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve enjoyed an abundance of blessings that we can only dream of. There they were living in bliss, in harmony with all of nature, they enjoyed a personal relationship with God, and they needed for nothing.
(Because they didn’t need anything, can you imagine what their conversations must have been like with God? communing with God was probably just continual praise toward him!)
But then it all went wrong: Eve was deceived into disobeying God; Adam quickly got involved too: and everything changed, especially in their relationship with God.
As a direct result of their disobedience, Adam and Eve did two very significant things:-
- They made clothes to cover themselves;
- And they hid from God.
Why did they make clothes for themselves?
Because they were ashamed.
Why did they hide?
Because they were afraid.
Unless you have received forgiveness of your sins through Jesus Christ, you will also live in shame and fear.
I don’t mean to put a lot of psychiatrists out of work here, but if you want to replace your shame with confidence, and replace your fear for boldness – the only true way is through Jesus.
Adam and Eve became ashamed and fearful because of their sin.
But because Jesus has offered forgiveness of your sin, you do not need to be ashamed or fearful anymore.
Jesus undid what Adam and Eve caused by their disobedience.
And the person who deceived Eve: he has been defeated: he is a loser: he only has the power that you allow him to have over you, (and often his power is manifest in shame and fear).
Through Jesus, you need never live in shame or fear.
Through Jesus the deceiver will have lost his power over you.
So, what are you ashamed of?
What are you afraid of?
Do you like living ashamed and afraid?
Or do you want to live a life that is confident and bold?
Your new life is freely available through everything that Jesus has already done for you.
All you need to do is receive.
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
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. Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
“Who told you that you were naked?” the LORD God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”
The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
Then the LORD God asked the woman, “What have you done?”
“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
[Genesis 3:1-13, from the New Living Translation]
That was the cause of the problem.
This is the solution,…
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.