How to Defeat Shame

Amber Ginter

iBelieve Contributing Writer
Updated Jan 03, 2023
How to Defeat Shame

Not only were we crafted in His image, but He knew us entirely, and we knew Him. But after sin entered the world, something made us afraid. And not just to show our physical nakedness but our figurative nakedness as well.

In my home, there is a picture of me standing stark naked in the middle of our living room. It is hidden inside a worn and faded photo album, but it exists. 

Mind you, I am probably two years old, but nevertheless, it is me in all of my blazing glory. Covered by my mother's embarrassed hands, reaching out to protect her child, I smiled brightly for the camera. I was naked and did not care who saw me. 

I was naked and unashamed.

A Biblical Question

In Genesis 2:25 (NLT), Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed: "Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame."

Adam and Eve were not only created in the image of God, but they trusted Him fully with how they were made. No one noticed they were naked or that there was a problem with being naked, not even themselves. 

By Genesis 3, however, they have taken a new name and position: Shame and fear.

“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”  (Genesis 3:6-11, NLT). 

Ashamed, Adam and Eve hid from God. Not only did they know they had sinned against Him by eating from the Forbidden Tree of Good and Evil, but now, their eyes were opened to their nakedness. And while the Scriptures here point to physical nakedness, I want to offer a proposition. 

Are We Still Hiding?

When Adam and Eve sinned, their eyes were opened to their literal nakedness. I am not proposing that they were not naked. They were plainly and starkly naked. 

God formed Adam from dust and His breath and Eve from a rib of man. Each of them was naked in their present form, just as a baby enters the world naked from its mother's womb. Before sin, neither knew they were naked, and neither realized or thought the error of it. That was God's original design.

But we, as humans, are the clothing makers. We look at naked children much like my mom did with me screaming and running around the house at age of two. We see them, we stop them, and we clothe them. Babies fresh out of the womb are covered. Even Jesus was wrapped in swaddling cloths in the manger.

Yet, it was our sin, humanity's sin, that asked for our nakedness to be covered in the first place.

Let me ask you a question to clarify: when you do something wrong, is your innate inkling to broadcast that to mankind? Of course not! Watch any child or adult who's done wrong try to hide, place blame, or cover up their sins and wrongdoings. Unfortunately, most boo-boo's can't be covered or fixed with a bandaid or medical wrap and tape. They cannot be covered with clothing.

Figurative Nakedness

So I wonder, when we sinned in the Garden of Eden, the day we became naked, did something else break?

Nakedness with God was pure. It wasn't weird or sexual or perverted like you might think. It was the rawest form of intimacy to exist.

Not only were we crafted in His image, but He knew us entirely, and we knew Him. But after sin entered the world, something made us afraid. And not just to show our physical nakedness but our figurative nakedness as well.

All over the world, some of the largest booming industries include covering up this original design. From makeup to clothing stores and social media, we are told to perfect imperfections and blemishes, accentuate our bodies, and filter our best experiences. And while I do not believe we should walk or run around physically naked in this day and age, I want to encourage us to go back to the heart and spirit of nakedness as God originally designed and intended it—not physically, but figuratively. 

A Challenge

My challenge to you today is to embrace the truth of God's Word in your heart and your mind. Stop trying to cover up, filter, and perfect the naked, messy, real, raw, and intimate parts of yourself. Learn to be raw with God, yourself, and others. 

Go back to His original design for you.

Shame, fear, and hiding were never a part of His plan. They were consequences of our poor choices and decisions.

Remember, we were crafted in His wonderful image. But the life He called us to then and still calls us to now is of true nakedness. Not hiding from who we are but embracing all He created us to become.

We were created and crafted in the mighty image of God. The only part of reality delicately interwoven by His mighty hand and imagined in His design. We are the only creation to be modeled after His design. Fearfully and truly wonderfully made. It is time that we embrace that. Naked and Unashamed.

As He originally made us.

As we are.

As we are still becoming.

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground" (
Genesis 1:27-28, NLT).
Agape, Amber

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Photoboyko

amber ginter headshotAmber Ginter is a teacher-turned-author who loves Jesus, her husband Ben, and granola. Growing up Amber looked for faith and mental health resources and found none. Today, she offers hope for young Christians struggling with mental illness that goes beyond simply reading your Bible and praying more. Because you can love Jesus and still suffer from anxiety. You can download her top faith and mental health resources for free to help navigate books, podcasts, videos, and influencers from a faith lens perspective. Visit her website at