This world is becoming such a crazy place to live in. There is an increasing amount of people who are choosing to do what is right in their own eyes, not realizing (or caring?) that their actions do have repercussions.
The reality is that the weight of our sin doesn't impact us as much when we think no one sees it. That's why sin in secrecy is so dangerous. We will keep doing it, if we can get away with it because we think no one knows...or will call us out if they do know.
In many cases, it is the EXPOSURE of sin that brings shame which should lead a person to accountability, grounded in repentence. But it doesn't always immediately work that way...I mean, just look at President 45 for a popular quick reference. He ain't got no shame in His political game. The US government is slowly imploding.
But to keep this clean, let's talk about first lady Eve and her man Adam, who were naked and felt no shame until they sinned by eating fruit from the forbidden tree and were exposed. At the point of hiding themselves, they knew they had sinned only because they began to see themselves differently...likely because of how they felt about themselves in the flesh once it had been spiritually perverted. They only knew to hide because now being naked "felt" wrong.
How we see ourselves is deeply impacted by how we feel about ourselves, which is predicated by what we are ingesting into our spirit, physically and mentally.
Adam and Eve allowed Satan to get in their head once they began ingesting the wrong stuff. What was once considered "very good" was now instantly tainted because of an impulsive decision.
God saw that they had sinned and asked, "who told you that you were naked?" Basically asking them (in my paraphrased voice), "who said that" like Porsha did at the dinner table with the girls on Real Housewives of Atlanta when the answer was obvious.
I found God's question to Adam funny when reading Genesis 3 because He is being tongue-in-cheek to me. We should know from the text that the only existing beings at this time were God, Adam, Eve, and the serpent. There weren't many people who could have told Adam and Eve that they were exposed.
God's question was framed in accountability.
So "who said that" the first couple were buttnaked? (drumroll)...Adam and Eve revealed it to one another once their eyes were opened. Their choice to sin affected the way they perceived each other and themselves. They told on themselves with their actions when God exposed them.
Oh, and the serpent had already given them a heads up in a deceptively cunning way before they chose to eat the forbidden fruit. He said, "God knows that when you eat [from the tree] your eyes will be opened." Then, only after Adam ate did their eyes open and they recognize in a shameful way that they were naked.
It's important to understand that their nakedness was never the sin, it was how they felt about their nakedness that became the problem once they let their desire lead them to make the wrong choice. What was once beautiful and considered "very good" was now attached to shame only because of an internal shift within Adam and Eve. They no longer needed Satan to tempt them externally because they now had an internal tempter resting within their pysche. Satan didn't care about them gaining knowledge, he cared about the way their gained knowledge would be used to subvert God's plan going forward. That's why God warned Adam and Eve that their "need to know" wasn't necessary and forbid them from eating from the tree of knowledge.
But ego is where humanity always falls short. We always think we can do better than God rather than with God.
The first couple's eager decision to sin caused a shift in their mindset which affected their perspective of themselves (guilt) which led to lasting shame.
So as we consider our response to sin, it is important to understand that our shame is only good when it leads us back to God. But shame is bad when it negatively impacts our identity and decisions so much that it causes us to see ourselves differently, thereby leading us further away from the image of God.
When we don't even think we are wrong about our actions, we surely won't recognize wrong and hold ourselves accountable to it...thus the absence of guilt which produces shame. That is scary. The absence of guilt and shame is why we have serial killers, serial cheaters, egotistical leaders, among many other dangerous people in the world.
This is also why God sometimes just has to expose us in our mess. Some people just won't become aware of their sin until they are fully exposed and fully ashamed (and even then some people still won't feel shame which is a sign of pure evil).
The downside to shame and exposure is the way people often respond to it:
Some people will try to hide their guilt and shame. Adam and Eve attempted to hide themselves from public view so that they weren't exposed, even trying to use whatever they could find to hide themselves...but guess what? God still saw them, fam! Epic fail. Hiding was the first clear sign/telltale of disobedience. No matter how much Adam and Eve thought they would gain more wisdom than God, they forgot that He's still God. (ISAIAH 55:8-9). We will never succeed at getting anything past Him...so why try? The best thing to do is allow guilt to lead you to repentence and accountability. But...
Some people will try to justify their guilt and shame. Ol' Adam just threw Eve all the way under the bus in his effort to justify his decision to sin...but he forgot that the "woman God put here with him" was replicated from HIM! Everything she had the capability of doing, he also had the propensity to do too. At the end of that bad day for humanity, Adam still had the power to choose, no matter what Eve did first. God gave us all the power to choose when we're faced with the temptation to sin. The spirit is willing to follow God but the flesh is weak and will try to do what is right in it's own eyes. In other words, what we do as individuals is on us before we can ever try to put it on someone else! When we do wrong, we should just own it and do better.
We must never miss an opportunity to humble ourselves before God, especially when He calls us out.
We are all a work in progress and we have a God who still shows us amazing grace through Christ, who proved in the wilderness (Matt 4:1-11) that we can hold on to our identity and remain true to who God has created us to be, despite the temptation to sin. We cannot allow our desires or our ego to lead us away from God. We have to know who we are!
Let us then hold firmly to our faith that we profess. We have a High Priest (Jesus, son of God) who can feel sympathy for our weak moments, because He has been tempted the same way Adam and Eve were, and the same way we are tempted today...yet He did not sin (Hebrews 4:14-15).
We all fall short and are prone to sin, but we do not have to let sin change who we are the way that it changed Adam and Eve. They allowed Satan to draw them away using their DESIRES which essentially trapped them and changed their whole life. But we don't have to own the identity that Adam and Eve passed on to us. When we accept Christ, we accept that we are made new and the old has passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17).
So, my whole reason for writing this rather lengthy post is to bring awareness to how easy it is to be ensnared by the weight of sin, especially when we are not yet exposed and still living in secrecy. Darkness is dangerous. This world is growing darker by the day. It is imperative that we do our diligence by asking ourselves and each other, "who told you that you were...?"
Who in your life is calling you out? Who is holding you accountable for your decisions. Who is righteously exposing your wrong when you're trying to hide from it or justify it?
We need a little bit more light in this world which will only come through accountability for our hidden sins, as individuals and as a nation. Please, try hard in 2020 to be that light.