I have always been told if I am nervous to talk in a large group, I should picture people naked. Are you serious? Why would picturing people naked or even in their underwear be helpful? I would personally think that picturing people naked would make me more nervous than my actual state of nervousness. If I actually had that ability to picture people naked, I probably would never have the ability to speak in front of anyone. I would show up to a convention or a church and probably run out the door.
What is it though about the issue of nakedness that we are so uptight about? I mean we are born naked aren’t we? Shouldn’t we be more comfortable in our nakedness? I believe the issues of sin complicate our ability to be naked with one another. I am not necessarily talking about the physical nakedness of the human body as much as I am really talking about our ability to be genuine with others.
There was a time before sin that nakedness was the norm of humanity. Before sin, both Adam and Eve were naked and they were not ashamed. I wonder what that would have been like to be naked and not ashamed about being seen. As I continually think about what humanity would be like if we were able to live in nakedness, I also continually consider how I can be naked with others.
I believe the way we are real with people is our true ability to be naked with others. When I look at the story of Adam and Eve, they were naked. They saw each other for who they were. They could not hold anything from anyone (where would they put it?) Seriously though. I wonder why we struggle so hard to be naked with others. It is a shame when we put on clothes of fakeness. I see this all the time. Just ask someone how he or she is doing. I am guessing that some times, people are doing fine. People are not always fine though all the time. We put on a fake smile though and tell someone we are doing fine when we are actually hurting and in need of support, prayer, or just someone willing to listen.
As I consider the purpose of community, I have to come back to the importance of nakedness among the body of Christ. We cannot live a duel life that hides who we are or what we are about and pretend that we are being who we are called to be. Oftentimes, we are scared how people would accept us if we stand before them naked and unashamed. We make our own clothes and protect ourselves from the humiliation of what would be or what could be. This is not what we are called to however.
There are many conversations that have yet to be shared. There are many secrets that need to be let out. There are many things that we hid in our mind that need to be spoken. These things we hid from others prevent us from living a life of freedom. We are held captive to these things that weigh us down in our thoughts. When we release these things from our minds and share them with others, we can be fully naked before others. And, when we are naked, we are free to be who we are meant to be. That is truly a worthwhile reason.
It is my hope that we can be naked together as the body of Christ. I hope that we can be honest in not hiding ourselves from being seen. For whatever one’s reasoning, we must make a decision to be naked. When we are naked before one another, we are real. If you are interested in reading more about how we can be naked as the body of Christ, check out the book, “The Naked Christian.” That being said, let’s get naked.