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Christians from the Deception of Body Shame
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The Root of Shame
The Harvest of Shame
Rejecting Shame
Freed From Shame
Redeeming the Body
Living Unashamed
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Ordinary Nakedness
In God's Image
God's Desire
Body Shame and Women
Shame, Children, and Abuse
Triumph Over Lust


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The Root of Shame
"Clothes therefore, must be the insignia of the superiority of man over all other animals, for surely there could be no other reason for wearing the hideous things." 

- From Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs 

It is well known that for every action there is a reaction.  When Adam and Eve where in a right relationship with God they where naked and unashamed.  Scripture says that when they sinned one reaction was fear of being naked.  So what caused this fear or shame, what is shame’s root? 

Let’s look at the temptation.  “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 surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."  (Genesis 3:1-5 NIV)

Through time many have said that Adam and Eve’s sin was sex and that because of this body shame is sexual.  Yet, not only does scripture not say anything about this sin being sexual, before the fall God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28) that is not possible without sex!  As with the body God Created sex and made it to be very good.  It is the corruption of it, which is sinful, and that corruption is not just misuse.  The corruption includes the belief that sex or our body (both God’s gifts) are bad or sinful of themselves. 

As with the heavens, the earth, all animals, and everything else, mankind was created by God, we are not self-created.  We are no more able to create ourselves then a car or light bulb is.  The key to the temptation was to be MORE then we are created to be, to be self-sufficient, self-determining, to be independent, to be self-creating, to be as Satan tempted “LIKE GOD”.  “In effect, Satan was saying, “You don’t need God to be a man!  If you declare your independence from God you can be your own god’s.  As a god you won’t have to be subject to what God says is right and wrong.  You can decide for yourself what is good and evil, and you can start right now by asserting your independence!” 1.

“In Genesis 3:1-6, Satan tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden tree, and we see that he ensnared her with the power of false shame.  He said, if you eat of this tree, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (see v.5).

“Implication: To be fulfilled and successful in life, you need to be more than you are.  Someone else (in this case, God) is higher and greater than you and this is not acceptable.  You are deficient. The God who made you cannot be trusted to make you enough.  The tree of life-God’s life-is insufficient for the task.  What you need is something from the world-the tree of the knowledge of good and evil-to make you enough.

“This is the shame message:

  • You are not enough;
  • God is not enough to make you enough;
  • You need something from the world (something from your own understanding) to make you enough.
“The first statement is true.  But Satan loves to mix lies with truth.  In ourselves we are not enough.  We are created to live dependent on God.  The next two statements are pure lies.

“Through the Centuries Satan’s message has not changed, and neither has his purpose.  Satan’s goal, then as now, is to erode our confidence in God so that consequently, we:

  • reject ourselves as God made us;
  • take matters into our own hands;
  • begin to shape our lives according to our own wisdom.” 2.
The root of shame is pride -  rejecting ourselves as God made us, taking matters into our own hands, shaping our lives according to our own wisdom.  Pride and shame are deeply interconnected, when we can let go of pride and be content to be what God made us to be, rather than trying to be our own god's, we can also let go of shame. 

The shame Adam and Eve felt wasn’t just do to with the body, our nakedness before God is always total, physical, mental, spiritual.  Scripture doesn't indicate that anything had changed about their physical condition to cause shame.  What did very clearly change was their mental and spiritual condition.  Being naked just as God made them and all the rest of His creation was wonderful before sin entered the scene.  Now that their eyes were open they are ashamed being naked, ashamed of being just God’s creation. 

Some people insist that it was due to sexual desire that they became ashamed.  Let me remind you that the ONLY people involved here (according to Scripture) were Adam and Eve (husband and wife) and that God had already told them to be fruitful and multiply, sexual desire for our spouse is God approved and desirable!   Yes, sin and shame does pervert sexual desire, in fact body shame does NOT reduce the perversion of sexual desire, it increases it!!!  Regardless, there is nothing in Scripture here that indicates that the root of Adam and Eve’s shame was in any way sexual.  Scripture does directly indicate that their shame resulted from their desire to be like God.

People can be comfortable with nudity without knowing God.  But freedom from shame is more than just comfort with nudity.  True freedom from shame (physical, mental, and spiritual) is found only when our relationship with God is restored through Jesus Christ.  Just as a light bulb doesn’t function as it was made without electricity, and a car doesn’t function as it was made without gas, we don’t function as we were made without God.  When we know who we are in Jesus Christ, when we rest and abide in God, AND when we can let go of pride and be content to simply be God’s creation, and be loved by Him, rather than being our own god’s, than we can also live without physical, mental, spiritual shame.

I don’t believe that comfort with physical nakedness is a worth much in itself (Yes it is nice, but if someone has that but they don’t know God, they really have nothing); however I believe it can be an indicator of our relationship with God.  When Adam and Eve where in a trusting, loving, dependent relationship with God, Scripture plainly states that they where “naked and unashamed”.  Because of what Jesus has done, the same can be true of us.  Alone or with others, being physically naked, rather than creating our own image with our clothes, can help remind us that we our Gods creation, not our own. 

Discomfort with simple nudity, or worse believing it to be indecent or obscene, is an indication that something about our relationship with God is off.   (Let me be clear, pornography is NOT simple nudity, it is corruption.  Christian’s should never be comfortable with pornography.)  If our discomfort is not from the pride of wanting to be more it most likely comes from the satanic deception that the human body is bad.  God said that His creation is very good, that to the pure all things are pure, and that as His children, we have the mind of Christ.  To believe that nudity (itself) is indecent, obscene, causes lust, is to believe the deceiver, not God.  It is to discern or "know" nudity differently than God intended.

The resulting problem of their sin wasn't simply that they "knew" good from evil, at least as we often think of "knowing" things. It was that they where now discerning, judging, determining what was good and evil for THEMSELVES.  The way they now "knew" things was in deciding or determining what was good or evil for themselves differently and totally independently of God.  The first place this difference is really evident is in their attitude toward nudity, when they where following God's discernment they where naked and unashamed, when they where following their own discernment, after sinning, they became ashamed of what they weren't ashamed of when they were in God's will.  Their attitude about what God had called good was one of the first things that Satan perverted.

What does your comfort (or lack thereof) with nudity indicate?  Are you still rooted in shame and pride or Satan’s deception?   If so, I pray that this article and others at can help you break free.  For myself being comfortable with nakedness and just simply being as God created me, with nothing added, nothing hidden has helped me feel much closer to God, totally accepted and loved just as I am.  Now, I know it didn’t actually make me closer to God, nothing I can do apart from accepting the gift of Jesus Christ can do that.  Nonetheless, I have felt closer to God when naked (both alone and with others) than I ever have clothed.  And that is a very wonderful thing.  I pray that you can reject the root of shame and experience that same feeling of closeness to God as well.

David Blood

Founder -

1. Source: Complete in Christ, Bob George, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 1994
2. Source: Shame Thief of Intimacy. Marie Powers, Gospel Light, 1998

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