The Fig Leaf Fashion Show

A couple weeks back we looked at how our view of God changed in Genesis 3. Instead of seeing God as One to relate to and be in communion with, we started seeing him as One to fear and hide from.

We lost something else too. Adam and Eve ate the fruit, and the very next thing that changed was the way they perceived themselves . . . they realized they were naked and tried to cover up.

Tyler Staton writes, “Fig leaves— it was the world’s first attempt to control self-perception. Since that day, we’ve never managed to stop feeling the need to do the same. Adam and Eve reached for fig leaves, and the whole world became a fashion show” (Searching for Enough, p. 87).

And we’ve been covering up ever since. When we first meet someone, the conversation inevitably moves quickly to what we do in our career (or what we did). I’m an accountant. I’m an engineer. I’m a teacher.

Or maybe family (“I’m married with two kids”). Or hobbies (“I love to ______”). Or some other way of establishing identity.

In some way, though–and maybe even subconsciously–we’re trying to prove we belong, that we matter, that we have value. We’re trying to cover up that nagging sense within us that we’re “naked.”

As I mentioned recently, Jesus came to “recover the story” . . . to get us back on track. He tells us who we really are, and he helps us see that so many of the fig leaves that we reach for are futile attempts to find identity in something other than our connection with God.


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