In the beginning, God created man and woman in His image and gave them a mission to enjoy His creation, reign over it and fill the Earth with lots of offspring. But they got distracted by a snake (see my last blog).
When we mess up, God calls out for us.
Most of us get off-mission at some (or many) point in our lives. Whether it’s a cruel word or big mistake, if we want to overcome self-consciousness, we are wise to consider the questions God asked the first couple after they messed up.
- Where are you?
God went searching for the first couple. He knew they were hiding in the bushes with fig leaves covering their bodies, but He called to them to give them another chance to turn back to Him, for He is a gentleman who does not push himself on others.
In the same way, He still seeks after you and me.
The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”2 Chronicles 16:9a NLT
- Who told you you were naked?
God acknowledges the problem. He does not like it when His children are belittled. Obviously, they were now embarrassed about their nakedness. God recognized their shame (even though it was part of His very good plan that they should have freedom from wardrobe) and brings it up for discussion.
Have you ever been made to feel badly about something in your life or image?
“You’re so (naked / vulnerable / ugly)…”
“Your not (like God / good at that / very strong)…”
“You should (hide / shut up / stop doing that) …”
Your Creator cares about the way you are treated. He doesn’t control those who hurt you, but He will deal with them at the right time. For now, He longs to comfort and heal you, but first, He must deal with what you did.
- Did you do something wrong?
God had one rule for Adam and Eve: Don’t touch that one tree. The rule didn’t just protect them from knowing evil, shame, fear and self-consciousness; it also gave them the opportunity to show Him that they were choosing to obey, trust, and love Him. He had no desire to control them and He still wants His children to have free choice.
But when we mess up, we must fess up or we will remain in our shame.
They failed Him, but He did not fail them. God brings our shame into the open not to condemn, but to correct. Love allows consequences; no longer could they walk freely in the Garden, but neither did they need to cower from Him. He removed their uncomfortable attempt at clothing and covered them with beautiful leather. Then He sent them back on their mission to have dominion over creation and to be fruitful and multiply. We know for certain that they were forgiven and given a fresh start, because it was only after paradise was lost that Eve was given her name.
Then the man–Adam–named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.Genesis 3:20
If you have been questioning God’s rules and doubted His heart; if you have lost your confidence and are hiding who you really are; if you are keeping your distance from God and man, I encourage you to listen for the voice of God and seek the truth, for this is what sets us free. Acknowledge the words that have hurt you and let God deal out the consequences in His time. For now, confess any part you did wrong and put on the clothing of forgiveness! The snake will get what’s coming to him, but let’s not let his words keep us from getting back to being who we were designed to be!
If you have ever been set free from the pain of someone’s words, or if you know someone struggling with their identity, would you share this blog on your social media?
CONFIDENT BEAUTY Image- and Life-Coaching