By Leonard Lauriault
Have you ever been ashamed for something you’ve done? I have and often still am.
Have you ever been ashamed of a friend or relative because of how their behavior might reflect on you, even if they couldn’t help their actions? How many parents have been embarrassed because their young child misbehaved in public when it was naptime, but they couldn’t put them down for a nap? I have. Have you ever scorned those parents in your mind?
I remind myself often that I’ve been that parent and that if I wasn’t a child once, I wouldn’t be here today.
God creates every person (Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 139:13-14). So he can rightfully be ashamed of us because none of us live up to our potential in his image (Romans 3:23). Once, God was so ashamed of humankind he repented of creating us, but one man was still in his favor (Genesis 6:5-8). Even then, Noah committed what many consider to be a shameful act (Genesis 9:20-29). We have no record of God’s response to Noah’s drunken nakedness, but we do know that Noah was angry with Ham for gossiping about his nakedness instead of covering him.
Shame is the first result of sin; death is the final result (Genesis 2:8-17; 3:1-20; Romans 6:23). When Adam and Eve sinned, their eyes were opened to their sin and they recognized their nakedness. While they were naked before that time, they weren’t ashamed, but now, they covered their nakedness with fig leaves and hid in shame when God came visiting. To properly cover their shame, God made them clothes from animal skins, which meant that the blood of the animals used had to be shed (Genesis 3:21-24; Hebrews 9:22). This bloodshed didn’t absolve the guilt of sin, so God also banished Adam and Eve from the garden where the tree of life grew (Hebrews 10:4).
We’re always naked before God (Hebrews 4:13). If we’re “innocent” (forgiven), there’s no shame in that nakedness because we’re actually covered in Jesus’ blood (John 3:16; 1 Peter 4:8; Hebrews 10:5-10; Revelation 1:5; Romans 4:7-8). God, who is holy, has made us holy with Jesus’ blood and Jesus is no longer ashamed of us because of our sins, although, we still sin (1 Peter 1:15; Ephesians 5:25-27; Hebrews 2:11-18; 1 John 1:5-10). In fact, Jesus scorned the process of bringing about our forgiveness with joy (Hebrews 12:2-3; Acts 2:36-39). Having been forgiven, we can look forward to going to the city with a garden where the tree of life produces fruit year round, which is another reason God isn’t ashamed to be called our God (Revelation 22:1-3; Hebrews 11:16). To maintain this unashamed status before God, we must not be ashamed of him (Mark 8:38).
Have you allowed God to cover your sins in Jesus’ blood by submitting to him in baptism (Hebrews 9:13-14; 10:22; Colossians 2:11-13)? Proper baptism is the only means God has given to remove our shame from sin through initial forgiveness to become part of his family.
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org