Dr. John Andrews
HOW TO LOOK GOOD NAKED
Rev. John Andrews
When we read the Genesis account it is striking that the first thing Adam and Eve did after they had sinned was to cover up.
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” – v 7.
Previously in the account we’re told that “the man and his wife were both naked, and felt no shame”, both living in the freedom and rest of God’s original plan and the security of who they were in Him. It seems to me that ‘covering up’ was exactly what Satan wanted them to do, for as they did so our first parents obscured God’s ‘naked’ glory and moved their own focus away from the brilliance of God’s creation to the meagreness of a covering of fig leaves, something for which fig leaves were never intended. Imagine how God may have ‘felt’, the first time He saw the genius of His divine purpose masked by a bunch of leaves. What a tragedy for Him, Adam and Eve and for us all. It seems to me humanity has been ‘covering up’ ever since in an attempt to disguise the simplistic glory of God-shaped personhood and eclipse a God ordained purpose.
If we’re not careful as leaders we live lives covered up, afraid or ashamed to be truly naked before God and our people, after all, some of us look better with our clothes on! However, the danger is we end up getting used to the coverings, learning to hide behind them and worst of all, drawing our identity from them.
So as followers of the King and leaders of others, how can we look good naked?
· Celebrate your original design
Even as leaders we need to see ourselves through Heaven’s eyes. The bible declares we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that God was intimately involved in the design and shaping not so much of our genetics (we have parents for that) but of our personhood! God doesn’t make mistakes, and He hasn’t made His first with you! When we go back to the original we see the genius of His design and the glory of His love.
· Cast off your artificial covering
When Christine first came to my church, I noticed a rather large birth-mark on her face, though she had attempted to disguise it with lots of make up. Months later, as she discovered who she really was in Christ and learned to live with her ‘naked self’, her make up came off and Christine got free. When people meet her, they don’t remember the birth-mark but rather a dynamic, exciting life-filled person! Paul declares; “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10). The New Living Translation puts it; “For we are God’s masterpiece…” If that is true and we really believe it, then why do we expend so much energy trying to cover it up? As leaders we need to stop trying to be superstars and learn to be followers again. I suspect our followers don’t want perfection in their leaders, they’ve been let down by too many of those. Rather they crave authenticity and will gladly respond to it.
· Challenge the philosophy of your world
The planet sees us in a certain way, putting us in a box and labelling us with a nice neat tag. But that isn’t the bottom line. We must have the courage as leaders to think not according to the pattern of the planet, but by the truth of the Kingdom. Paul urges us; “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2).
God made Adam and Eve naked so that nothing would get in the way of who they truly were. Sin’s invasion spoilt that and ever since inferior coverings have attempted to mask His wondrous creative glory. As leaders we need to lead the line on this issue. We need to go naked and show those that follow us and the communities that we’re seeking to reach, that it’s possible to live naked and still look good!