"And he said, 'Who told you that you were naked?...'" Genesis 3:11a (NIV)
Do you ever ask yourself: What's wrong with me?
One day I noticed how many times I do. When I lose my keys, when I'm mean to my husband, when I don't keep a commitment, when I'm late for a meeting, when I yell at my kids, when I forget to do something important—the list goes on.
It dawned on me that every time I asked, "What's wrong with me?" I was actually telling myself something was wrong with me. Then I would try to figure out my elusive fault so I could change it.
I realized what I needed to change was the way I talked to myself. I didn't want to keep convincing myself something was wrong with me every time I asked, What is wrong with me?
That's not what God wants us doing to ourselves. However, we have an enemy who loves to cast the shadow of self-doubt over us. He tries to get us to focus on all that is wrong with us (real or perceived), instead of anything that is right with us.
Scripture tells us that when Satan lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). The word lie means a falsehood with the intent to deceive. Satan intends to deceive our hearts by getting us to take our eyes off of who we are in Christ and focus on our flaws—then spend our days figuring out how we can hide them.
One of his goals is to get us to believe lies that leave us feeling inadequate and unsure of ourselves. It's just what he did with Eve in the garden. In fact, I wonder if Eve might have thought, What's wrong with me? when she became aware of her inadequacy.
Then the eyes of both [Adam and Eve] were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden...and they hid from the LORD God...But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." (Gen. 3:7-10, NIV 1984)
In verse 11 God responds with a question, asking Adam who told them they were naked. In other words, "Who told you that something is wrong with you?" By asking this, God acknowledged there was someone casting shame on them—and it wasn't Him.
I believe He wanted them to be aware of their enemy who was whispering lies into their hearts, causing them to move away from Him and from each other. God also wants us to be aware that we have an enemy who is constantly trying to convince us that we're inadequate and that something is wrong with us.
Sadly, we often go along with Satan's lies and live like they are true. Rarely do we stop to ask, "Who is saying these things? Who is causing me to doubt myself? Is it me? Is there something from my past that led me to believe this? Or is it the enemy of my soul disguising his voice as my own?"
But we can change that today. First, we need to realize Satan's schemes are the same for us as they were for Eve. Second, we need to determine we are not going to keep falling into his traps. Instead we can refute his lies and accusations with truth. If we have put our trust in Christ as our Savior, we can stand on these promises:
• When we feel defeated, God says, "In all these things [you] are more than [a conqueror] through him who loved [you]..." (Rom. 8:37, NIV)
• When we feel worthless, God says, "You are precious and honored in my sight, and . . . I love you." (Isa. 43:4, NIV)
• When we feel inadequate, God says, "'You are my witnesses,' declares the LORD, 'and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.'" (Isa. 43:10, NIV)
Lord, help me recognize the enemy's accusations and my own self-doubts. Please remind me of Your unconditional love and help me turn away from the lies so I can listen to and live in Your Truth! In Jesus' Name, Amen.