Breaking the Grip of Shame Among Christians by Promoting Body Respect.

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The Root of Shame
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Freed From Shame
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Ordinary Nakedness
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Body Shame and Women
Shame, Children, and Abuse
Triumph Over Lust


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Does God Desire us to be ashamed?
I'm trading my sorrows 
I'm trading my shame 
I'm laying them down 
For the joy of the Lord.

    - from the song "Trading My Sorrows" 

Although the Bible plainly states that there was no shame of nudity before the fall (Gen, 2:25), many Christians say that nudity is now wrong because things changed after the fall.  I've heard people say "the Bible says that Adam and Eve became ashamed of nudity after they sinned, and that's enough proof that we are supposed to be ashamed of nudity for me!"  These same people do not object to nudity if it is private between husband and wife, saying that is the one context in which it is allowed, YET that is exactly the context that Adam and Eve where in when they became ashamed!  Since they felt no shame when they where in a right relationship with God and became ashamed only AFTER they sinned, shouldn't this be proof that it's body shame and not nudity which is wrong?

Yes indeed, everything did change after Adam and Eve sinned; everything was distorted due to sin and Satan's deception.  If we follow the logic that we should be ashamed of nudity - BECAUSE of sin, than not only should we NOT strive to raise above body shame and accept nudity without shame, we should also NOT strive for peace between men - because of sin, we should NOT try to cure or end diseases - because of sin, we should NOT try to ease the pain of child birth - because of sin, we should not try to better our or others situation in life - because of sin, we should NOT try to make the ground easier to till and produce better crops - because of sin, we should NOT try to end injustice - because of sin, I could go on and on.

If we accepted this logic we wouldn't even be able to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior - because apparently we are to be defeated by and subject to sin!  But Jesus came and died because of sin, to restore us to a right relationship with God and free us from sin.  God never intended that we be defeated by sin and accept the wrong which resulted because of the fall as right!  (Including shame over what God created and proclaimed to be very good.)  In fact He clearly intended that we overcome and obtain victory over sin (and the results of Satan's deception) and he provided the means for us to do that through our new life as Christians in Jesus Christ.

I believe that Satan works hardest to deceive God's children about things that are important, not inconsequential things.  What effect does shame have on us?  It is the source of low self-esteem.  It is central to the emergence of alienation, loneliness, inferiority, and perfectionism.  Depression, paranoia, sexual addiction and abuse all significantly involve shame.  Pastor Ted Roberts (author of "Pure Desire") says: "Shame is a feeling of deep degradation that convinces me there is something fundamentally wrong with me...and that is a killer."

What does the Bible say about our bodies?

In Gen 1:31 the Bible says: "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."

Isa 5:20 says: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.

Psalm 8:4,5 says: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?  You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor."

Psalm 92:4,5 says: "How great are your deeds O Lord: I sing for joy at the works of your hand.  How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts!"

Psalm 139:14 says: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Isaiah 29:16 says: "You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!  Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"?  Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?

Isaiah 45:9-12 says: "Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground.  Does the clay say to the potter, "What are you Making?'  Does your work say, "He has no hands"?  Woe to him who says to his father, "what have you begotten?'  or to his mother, What have you brought to birth?'  "This is what the Lord says - the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give orders about the work of my hands?  It is I who made the Earth and created mankind upon it."

1 Tim.  4:4 says: "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,"

Titus 1:15,16 says: To those that are pure, all things are pure, but to those who are full of sin and do not believe, nothing is pure.  Both their minds and their consciences have been ruined.  They say they know God, but their actions show they do not accept Him.  They are hateful people, they refuse to obey, and they are useless for doing anything good.

Again, I could go on, YET many Christians who believe we should obtain victory over sin and strive to overcome things like hatred, injustice, sickness, weeds, and every other result of the fall and Satan's deception believe that nudity (God's creation as He made it) is wrong, causes lust, and that shame is right!  It seems to me that this is one of Satan's most successful deceptions, one that not only causes us to struggle far more with lust but also causes us to feel alienated from ourselves, others, and God!

God did not create our bodies to be ashamed of or to cause us to lust and fall into sin if we see them without clothes!  In Mark 7:14-15 Jesus said: "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.  Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him.  Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'  " In verses 20-23 He continues "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.'  For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.  All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'  " Yet many Christians believe that it is what's outside (seeing nudity) rather than what's in side (our evil or lewd thoughts of nudity) that causes lust.  That idea is part of Satan's deception and one that greatly increases lustful temptation by making nudity taboo, a tease, and forbidden rather than accepted without shame.

1st.  Corinthians 2:16 says that Christians have the mind of Christ, would Jesus' mind regard the human body (which He created and proclaimed to be very good) as something obscene, indecent, lewd, and shameful which causes lust?  NO!  and neither should Christians!  If we were truly living in Christ we wouldn't regard the human body in anyway different than God does, and God clearly regards it as good and wonderful without shame.

As a popular praise song says we should be trading our shame for the joy of the Lord.

"I'm trading my sorrows 
I'm trading my shame 
I'm laying them down 
For the joy of the Lord."
- from the song "Trading My Sorrows"

Nate Dekan

Founder -

Copyright 2002 Nate Dekan

This article may be freely copied and distributed unaltered.

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