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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

the naked truth

since christian posted his, i thought i would post my answer to the exam question also...

Have any of you felt ashamed? I remember when I was in the early part of high school and I would have to shower in the locker room after Phys. Ed. class and after basketball games and what not and I was always one of the kids who kept covered as much as possible going in and out of the shower – if I showered at all. It’s not that I was a late developer, there was just something about having all of the other boys in my class know something that intimately about me. I felt shame about my body and fearful about whether or not the knowledge about my body would get out – especially out to the girls in my class. I suspect that many of you feel the same way now as I did then. There is something about nakedness that makes us feel ashamed and aware of ourselves.

But where did these feelings of shame come from? Why is it that we have trouble showering in front of others, especially when other people have the same insecurities as us? It wasn’t always this way. The very first human beings, Adam and Eve, were created without any clothing and the Bible says that they were naked and were not ashamed. However, this feeling did not last. Some time later, Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree and introduced sin into the world. Do you know what they immediately noticed after committing that first sin? They noticed that they were naked and they felt shame so they tried to cover themselves with leaves and branches.

But, as we know, it didn’t work because we still feel the same shame. Adam and Eve felt shame because they were made in the image of God and they no longer appreciated the glory of one another as image bearers. Instead, they traded that glory for shame and then tried to cover it up.

This is what we do as well. We feel insecure about our naked bodies so we try to cover them up. We don’t do our homework so we cover that up by cheating/lying to our teachers. We feel small and desire popularity so we act like we are tough or we talk bad about other people. We conceal who we really are because when it comes down to it, we don’t like ourselves and we don’t think others will either if they truly knew us. We are ashamed of ourselves.

But, just like Adam and Eve, God created us in his image and knows us better than we know ourselves. God knew that the leaves and branches that they used to cover themselves wouldn’t work and he provided the first pair of boxers – made from animal skins! The problem with this covering is that it did nothing to truly cover that sin or any other they would commit from that point on. They needed something more. We need something more. Our efforts to conceal ourselves from our friends and parents might seem to work, but we don’t fool the one who made us. He sees more than just the things we do. He sees our thoughts and our motivations. Because of this we need a covering great enough to hide our sins from God. God himself provides such a covering – in Jesus Christ.

What are the ways that you attempt to cover yourself from God? Do you tell yourself he doesn’t exist? Do you try to balance your life with good works? Do you go to church? Are you “religious?” The Bible tells us that none of these things will work. The only thing that works is to believe that Jesus Christ died and rose again from the dead for you and for you to acknowledge that he is the only way to cover your sins and present you to God.

1 Comments:

At 8:20 AM, December 07, 2005, Blogger Dan McGowan said...

There are two major thrusts that have forever changed the way we operate in our society - Christian or non-Christian alike. One is sin. The other is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Both events have changed HOW we relate to each other forever.

Because of sin, we now go thru life with a sense of shame. Though it sounds lofty to suggest that we are "supposed" to be "okay" with each other's nakedness, we're not. Primarily for some of the reasons both of these essays unintentionally alluded to. There is no such thing any more as "normal naked." The reason most women can't compete with what men see online, or on billboards, or in magazine ads, etc. is the same reason women can't compete with Minnie Mouse. Because it's a world of non-reality. And nobody can "compete" in that world. Sin has forever changed how we view one another.

On the other hand, the resurrection of Jesus Christ has also changed how we view one another, if we truly live as the "little Christs" (Christian) we are meant to be. If I am truly living my life as if Jesus IS IN ME, then, when I look at you, I see you as God sees you. It's not a matter of nakedness, but TRANSPARANCY - and there is a huge difference between the two.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go take a cold shower...

 

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