Read: Romans 12:2

What does it mean to be conformed to this world? If Satan had his way, he would keep us bound by sin and defeated by shame. We see this in Genesis 3, following the fall of man. Adam and Eve sinned, and immediately realizing they were naked, covered their bodies with fig leaves and physically hid from the Lord. Why did they hide from the all-knowing God? They hid because another tactic the enemy uses in his ploy to steal, kill, and destroy is shame. Shame is the painful humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. Shame feels debilitating and hopeless. Satan aims to trap us in a spiral of sin, shame, and separation from God. Thankfully, the story did not end with fig leaves.

God knew that Adam and Eve had disobeyed him, yet He came to the garden to meet with them anyway. Instead of angrily confronting them with “How dare you?” or “What have you done?” He asks, “Where are you?” When Adam and Eve respond that they hid because they were afraid when they heard Him coming and knew they were naked, He asks, “Who told you that you were naked?” This captures God’s heart for connection with his people. There were consequences for Adam and Eve’s actions in the garden that resulted in separation from God, but the story doesn’t end there. God spends the rest of the story of the Bible making a way for us to come back into relationship with him through Jesus. This sacrificial love is foreshadowed in Genesis 3:21, when God clothes Adam and Eve with animal skins, replacing the prickly fig leaves. This was the first sacrifice of atonement in the Bible. God ultimately sent His son to die for the sins of man once and for all. He continues to pursue relationships with His people.

To discern the will of God, we must know His voice, and to know his voice, we must know his Word. From just one chapter in the Bible, we see His characteristics of love, justice, and mercy. We must be aware of the shaming, hopeless, deceitful whispers the enemy places in our minds and renew our minds by tuning in to the tender and loving voice of God. When you feel yourself begin to spiral deeper and deeper into shame, listen for God’s tender voice, respond to His truth, and rest in His loving presence.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are some negative thoughts you’ve been struggling with lately?
  2. How have these thoughts impacted your actions and relationships?
  3. What steps can you take to renew your mind and align your thoughts with God’s Word?