The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






A Matter Of Faith


by Joel Lawler

"Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."

It is incredible what we give up when we choose to believe a lie.

Can you imagine what it would mean to be naked and unashamed? 

When we are born, we have no shame. Babies are not self-conscious. They don't look over to the next bassinet and compare their height or weight with the child next to them. They don't question whether their eyes are too close together or the size of their nose.   

Before we sinned, we walked with God without fear.

We lived in community with God and each other completely open, unguarded, vulnerable, honest, pure and authentic.

A liar came and convinced us we were not good enough. 

"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

"The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"

"You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

The enemy makes us doubt ourselves. He talked Adam and Eve into comparing themselves with God. He subtly put a seed of doubt about their identity in their mind. "You could be like God" means who you currently are is lacking and not good enough. The accusation is we are not whole and our creator has failed us.

The first sin was a questioning of our identity.

Adam should have reminded his bride who she was. He stood passively and silently by while a snake told lies to his wife. Adam knew who Eve was. God made sure of that. In Genesis, God said "It is not good for man to be alone." God put Adam to work naming the animals. Adam had it all. He talked with God. He had a great place to live. He had an amazing job. Something was still missing. His job and home were not enough.

Adam knew Eve. He knew what life was like without her. He should have defended her. He should have ended her conversation with the snake by boldly proclaiming the truth about who Eve was and what she meant to him.

All sin is a questioning of our identity. We were created to be loved and to love God and others. Sin is us living outside of that identity. We don't trust God so we try to be God and meet our own needs.

One of the consequences of sin is shame. We hide ourselves.

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"

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

And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

Shame drives us to compare ourselves to others. It makes us be consumed with our appearance and our social status. We are no longer the innocent baby in the basinet. We fear that we are less than who we should be.

We cannot return to Eden. We can turn to God and accept his grace and love. By doing so, we can live confidently our lives as who he created us to be.


Joel Lawler