Ephesians 4:17-19 (NLT)
17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
The apostle Paul had just completed writing to the church they should be one in unity, and in concord with each other and their lives should be pure. He now tells them to be conscious of what they do and not to wander far from God or harden their hearts toward Him. He says those who do not know God have done this and they have no sense of shame for they are eager to live for lustful pleasures and practice many sins.
Shame is defined as a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming or impropriety. It is also the susceptibility to having such emotion. Before Adam and Eve had committed sin it says they were able to walk through the garden naked because they had no shame. They had not experienced sin and they were comfortable in the environment in which they were living. But at the moment of their sin it says their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. In chapter 3 of Zephaniah it says this about the city of Jerusalem, “No one can tell it anything; it refuses all correction. It does not trust in the Lord or draw near to its God. Its leaders are like roaring lions hunting for their victims. Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time, who by dawn have left no trace of their prey. Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain. Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions. But the Lord is still there in the city, and he does no wrong. Day by day he hands down justice, and he does not fail. But the wicked know no shame.” Why do the people know no shame? These people had fallen away in their relationship with God. They had distanced themselves from God, although He was there in the city handing down justice day by day. Because they lacked in their relationship with God they felt no shame for their actions, unlike Adam and Eve who had been so close to God. Shame has its purpose to motivate us to recognize our sin and move away from it. But we should never let our shame move us away from God; instead we need to move close to God. We need to confess to God our faults, our temptations, and our sins. Then instead of shame we will see we have a God and Savior who loves us despite our imperfections. Are you letting the shame of sin keep you away from a closer relationship with God? Pray and ask today that you may be forgiven. For the Lord promises if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. God wants us close to Him and if we let the shame of sin rule in our lives it does nothing but to push away when He wants to draw us closer.