I am by no means a health expert, though I do occasionally order a side salad with my double cheeseburger. However, one morning, I had a marvelous thought in the shower. I came up with a foolproof weight-loss strategy, one that will surely generate a seven-step plan and result in several New York Times best sellers. I’ve never heard anyone offer this strategy before, but I think it’s a genius idea.
Spend one minute a day in front of a mirror completely naked.
Totally naked from head to toe. No towels and no robes. Just yourself in all of your glory. You’ll see things you don’t like and things that you don’t normally notice. You’ll probably see things you wish you didn’t notice. There are the problem areas that you try to cleverly hide with your fashionable wardrobe. I think this will work, because when you’re naked, there’s no hiding the truth. It’s not a few more pounds on the scale; it’s a few more inches on the waist. It’s the real you, with no way to fake it or hide. Seeing yourself the way you really are ought to motivate you to work out, or in the very least order a water with lime in addition to the side salad and double cheeseburger.
Naked. Just seeing the word on my screen makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like being naked. I don’t walk around my house naked, even when it’s just me and my wife at home. There’s like this overriding preference of clothing. But really, underneath all the clothes that we wear, we are really naked. Beneath that retro T-shirt and the tastefully torn jeans and the cool shoes from eBay, we’re all just regular people. Regular, naked people.
Naked. That’s how Genesis describes life in paradise. Adam and Even were both naked and not ashamed in the Garden of Eden. They were not embarrassed by any wrongdoing, because wrongdoing didn’t exist. They were honest; they were real. They lived in authentic community with God, and God saw them for who they really were.
Naked. That’s how God sees us today. He is the Psalm 139 God who knows when I sit and when I rise. He looks past all the things I’ve been trying to cover up with clothing into the depths of my heart. He knows what I will say before I say it. He examines my heart and knows everything about me. With God, there’s no faking it. He sees past all of my clever attempts to impress others and notices the darkness of my intentions. He looks right through my efforts to impress Him into the face of my pride. I can’t stand behind any masks or cover up with any garments, because my soul is bare before God. We can’t hide parts of our lives from God when we’re naked. We can’t fiddle with our keys in our pockets because those pockets don’t exist.
So I suggest this. Spend 20 minutes a day in front of the mirror with God. James 1:25 says that when we look into God’s Word and catch a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God even out of the corner of our eye, we will be blessed. Even though we may forget our physical appearance as revealed by a full-length mirror as the day progresses, we can’t forget a real encounter with the living God. The Word of God will show us who we really are, and it will show us who He really is.
When we look at God’s holiness, God’s perfection and God’s justice and stack that up against our worthless attempts at goodness, we may just begin to understand the preface of grace. When we look into the mirror of God, we begin to see things in our own spirituality that make us ugly. In that regard, our nakedness can bring us closer to God, because when we’re willing to admit our shortcomings and failures, we open the door for Him to clothe us in His righteousness. It might be high time that we take a skinny-dip into God’s grace and come before Him…
In the end, that’s how God will see us anyway. He will judge our very thoughts and motives, and we won’t be able to hide behind good works or bank accounts or good intentions. I just realized how many times I wrote the word naked in this article. Maybe that comes from too many years of working with junior high kids. Though I’m relatively sure not many will adopt my new weight loss strategy, how cool would it be if we could all approach God, well … naked.
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