As soon as Adam and Eve had taken and eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, their eyes were opened, and they became aware of their nakedness. Their first impulse was to put some clothes on, to conceal themselves, to hide in a way, from one another. Next they hid in the trees from God. What a picture of how sin always opens up a chasm between us and God and between us and others! Our first impulse is almost always to hide and conceal the ugly truth, to put on our best face for everyone to see. But the Christian story suggests that the way to overcome shame is to bring our broken selves out into the open and to find there the transforming love of God.
Practice confession: Set aside some time to practice confession this week. Begin by asking God to overcome your tendency toward defensiveness. Then ask yourself, “Who have I injured lately through thoughtlessness, neglect, anger, and so on?" As the Holy Spirit brings people to mind, confess your feelings about these people to God. Ask God to forgive you and, if need be, to give you grace to forgive them. Write an apology, make a phone call, or have a face-to-face conversation to put the relationship back on track.*
*From Spiritual Disciples Handbook by Adele Calhoun. [InterVarsity Press, 2005]
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