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Because the problem of sin is so persistent in Christians’ lives—whether it be overt, or the more covert sin of attitudes and motivations of the heart—our most common response is to cover it up. We simply try to appear to be more respectable and holy than we actually are. Do you think pride has something to do with this? I think that’s a foregone conclusion! The really sad thing is that this cover-up unavoidably leads to an oppressive sense of shame.

Shame has a crippling effect in a person’s life. Psychologists tell us that it is often at the heart of emotional disturbance and dysfunction. So it’s not hard to see how Satan—who is called “the accuser of our brethren”(Revelation 12:10)—can use it so effectively as a wedge to bring about our alienation from God.

Our first instinct is to run and hide from God when we sin, isn’t it? The reason we do this is not only because we intuitively sense God’s displeasure, but that we think no one else has these problems. “How could I do something so despicable, so displeasing to God? What inner flaw would provoke me to even think of such a thing?”