What is it about being naked? We are so exposed. We are exposed to the elements, for sure, but we are also exposed to the criticisms of everyone around us. We can't hide our flaws behind our fashion trends. A little muffin top? No tucking it in a pair of jeans. Saggy boobs? The miracle of the bra is gone. Stretch marks, cottage cheese legs, love handles? All out there for the world to see. Personally, I am very, very happy for the many clothing options that hide what lies beneath (and trust me, you should be too!).
Sometimes being truthful in where we are in life sometimes leaves us feeling naked. It's easier to give the quick "I'm great" or put the smile on and allow everyone to think we have it all figured out and are completely put together. Why is being emotionally naked so difficult? Why is stripping away the "everything is good in my life" so hard? God has given me a heart for others, and with that, He has asked me to be honest and truthful about my struggles. It is extremely rewarding to be able to use my own challenges in life to encourage and help others. It really is a gift. However, if I am honest, sometimes it leaves me a little naked and afraid. There are some repercussions to allowing yourself to be so vulnerable. No longer are you fully clothed in the disguise of perfection (I'm pretending here that you all thought I had it together). I recently attended a party where several people had read my last blog post about depression in my life. I felt a little naked. While I wanted to share and be open and honest, the reality that they knew, left me a little afraid. Were they looking at me differently? Were they judging? Did they understand my message? Insecurity started to seep in and I had to work through the fear.
We need to be more naked. I understand that there are times to be clothed. We have to be careful about what we share and with whom. But all too often we don't share because we are fearful. What will others think? Will they unfriend me? Will I be considered broken and no longer good for anything? Will they still love me? Can you imagine what a better world this would be if those in the church would stop trying to be shiny happy people and instead be real? The church I attend does this magnificently well. We are a church full of broken people. You do not spend too much time at Encounter Church before you see the heart of those who attend. They aren't up for charades. They are real about what God is teaching them, the challenges they are facing and their own brokenness. I find this to be rare in the church today. It can get messy at times, but I would take a messy bunch of sinners who are honest about their life and faith walk than a beautiful group of hypocrites. They aren't perfect. They have made mistakes. But they are stripping off the holier than thou clothing and truly living out their lives together.
We only get one life to live. Let's live it well. Let's be a little more bold. Let's trust God a little more with His plan for us. Let's allow others in when God is asking us to. Let's stop pretending and start being real. Let's get naked.