Shame is a Lie

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | March 6, 2023

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Genesis 3:10

Over the next three weeks, we will address topics tender to many of our hearts: anxiety, depression, and grief. We pray these devotionals help draw you closer to God and encourage you along in your own journey as well as those you are privileged to walk alongside. If you need further resources about these topics, please visit this webpage. 

Reading Genesis 3 used to give me a pit in my stomach. It bothered me that Adam and Eve turned their backs on God. And, to make matters worse, they tried to cover it all up, figuratively and literally. I struggled a lot with this. But then I realized that I would have done the same. In fact, I have done the same, and that’s why the story stings. Herein lies the shame of sin, but truth be told, shame is a lie.

Sin and shame can be hard to separate. Why? Because it’s normal and healthy to feel guilty after choosing my way over God’s way. What’s not true is all the self-destructive finger-pointing that follows. Jesus never tells this lie to anyone: “You’re bad, unlovable, and deserve to be alone.” And He certainly doesn’t want us walking around shaming ourselves with this tape playing in our heads, “I’m bad, unlovable, and deserve to be alone.” Even if sin remains, shame has got to go.

When I realized that the Heavenly Father’s mission was to get as close to Adam and Eve as He could be, even in their sinful state, that truth changed everything. It started releasing the pressure to be perfect that I used to feel. It lifted the weight of anxiety that I carried while I waited to be found out. And it transformed the way I connected with God and treated myself and others. I didn’t need to pretend sin wasn’t present. I just needed to own it, confess it, and release it back to Jesus to forgive it—without the lingering sting of shame.

Paul David Tripp, in his book New Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional, says, “God’s grace will expose what you want to hide, not to shame you, but to forgive and deliver you.” Adam and Eve thought they had every reason to stay in the shadows, but really, they had every reason to show their faces. Their pathway to peace required coming out of hiding to hear, “You were created good, you are loved, and we’re in this together.”

Next Steps

Who has God placed in your life to help shut down shame? Connect with a friend about today’s devotional. Read Romans 8:1 and James 5:16 together and discuss ways you can release the stronghold of shame.