The apostle Paul makes a bold statement about not being ashamed in the beginning of his letter to the Church at Rome, Romans 1:16. Paul writes with a sense of pride, clinging to the Good News about Jesus Christ like a badge of honor. As a former persecutor of the first century church as a zealous Pharisee in Acts 7, Paul was ashamed of any Jew who believed that Jesus of Nazareth, a mere carpenter, was the promised Messiah of the Old Testament.
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not embarrassed or ashamed in each other’s presence, Genesis 2:25.
Six thousand years earlier, shame was an emotion yet to be discovered. According to Moses, when Adam and Eve looked at each other’s naked bodies for the first time, feeling ashamed never entered their minds. Perhaps, this is what newlywed virgins experience on their honeymoon as they lay with each other naked for the very first time. Unfortunately, this paradise didn’t last long as a bite from the Tree of Knowledge radically altered their emotions from not ashamed to experiencing shame.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apronlike girdles, Genesis 3:6-7.
Everyone born after the Garden of Eden is created with a heart, soul, mind, and a conscience. This gut feeling serves a spiritual thermostat for human beings. According to Moses, Adam and Eve went from innocent eyes in Genesis 2 to a guilty conscience in Genesis 3 which conceived shame for the very first time on earth. Anyone who is hard on themselves experiences shame daily. While you can’t put the Genie back in the bottom, you can start with confession to make the presence of shame flee, James 5:16.
by Jay Mankus