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Vulnerability, transparency, honesty, integrity, accountability, and open communication are all ways in which you can remove the barriers between yourself and someone else and get naked in the most fundamental and effective of ways.
If you are going to be successful in business, in romance, in relationships, and in your walk with God — you have to be willing to bring people in and open your dreams, your hopes, your vision, and your life to them.
There is nothing more compelling than a leader who is unafraid to be really, truly, and fully authentic with their people. In fact, it is the same in any relationship — friendship, parenting, family, colleagues, spouses — the list goes on and on. Every relationship is better when you are the one who genuinely shows up.
Consider this, if you fake it, obscure it, cover it up, pretend it is some other way, or in any other way embrace hypocrisy and deception over honesty, integrity, and authenticity than not only are you less likely to make an impact or build something of value in the first place, but even if you manage to create something of the result you are looking for, whatever success you may achieve will never fully connect with you or deliver the satisfaction, fulfillment, and emotional returns that God desires so much to give you.
God is not looking for you to put on spiritual shapewear or hide behind a spiritual mask. God does not ask you to pretend or to misrepresent in any way who you actually are.
God knows you. God loves you. And God calls you, commissions you, and challenges you to embrace the destiny that you were created to enjoy.
“Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame” – Genesis 2
It is not an accident that you were created naked. Everyone is. Everyone is created with no pretense, no hypocrisy, and no lies of any kind. Deception and obscurity only come into play when the enemy gains traction on some aspect of your life. Whether it is a negative experience or a negative choice, breaking the connection between your internal identity and your external persona is not a positive outcome — far from it.
There is a innate desire and a fundamental need within all people to have a unified experience of goodness, love, peace, joy, abundance, favor, and blessings.
Perhaps the greatest psychological traumas that people suffer involve in some way a divide arising between what is presented to the outside world and what is experienced in the mind, heart, and soul of the person traumatized. The list is long and the damage is real. Just think, if you are in a beautiful setting, surrounded by revelry and happy people, but you have suffered a loss that no one else knows about and you choose to “put a good face on it” and join the revelry. The stark contrast between what is going on inside you and the effort to gloss over it serves not to dampen, but rather to amplify the feelings of isolation, sadness, and loss. Far from removing them, avoidance and pretense actually increase the negative experiences they are intended to address. Far better then, to accept and acknowledge the truth of the matter and make choices in that context, rather than letting yourself be isolated by your own unwillingness to genuinely be present in your own life.
“Then the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He replied, ‘I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.'” – Genesis 3
There is no guarantee that it is going to be easy when you choose to authentically show up and genuinely communicate with transparency, purpose, and integrity. Sometimes you are going to be genuinely wrong, honestly mistaken, truly imperfect, authentically flawed, and actually broken. But the fact is, the only road to healing, restoration, recovery, redemption, and success is through the actual change of the actual reality of who you are, what you are, how you are, where you are, and why you are.
One of the worst pieces of advice in common circulation today is that lying is an essential or at least a necessary part of dating. That somehow if you misrepresent yourself well enough you will manage to land a partner who will be a great fit for you. So, let’s put this one to rest — in romance, as in any relationship, the only path to genuine intimacy, deep connection, and lasting meaning is to authentically show up, openly and honestly communicate with integrity and genuinely listen to, interact with, consider, accept, support, invest in, and love the other people in your life.
Let’s put it this way, getting naked without ever taking off a single piece of clothing is the key to accomplishing lasting and meaningful connections with other human beings. And in the case of dating and marriage you should be fully open, fully vulnerable, fully transparent, fully informed, fully aware of everything there is to know about each other — getting fully naked mentally and emotionally before you ever take the vows of marriage and get naked with each other physically.
Discovering the secret of authentic vulnerability, genuine transparency, and actual intimacy is the foundation on which actual change, genuine relationship, and authentic success is built.
Realizing that God loves you so much that you can get naked — remove all pretense, let go of all hypocrisy, drop the act, stop the lies, clear the obscurity — and stand in the presence of God confident and sure, not of your own righteousness, holiness, perfection, or merit, but confident and sure of God’s favor, God’s goodness, God’s grace, and God’s blessings is perhaps the greatest secret of all.
The enemy would like you to believe that shame, guilt, fear, anxiety, and more are important expressions of faith and reverence when it comes to your relationship with God. That somehow you should hide your flaws, your wounds, your imperfections, and your character from God or somehow lie your way into heaven. The absurdity of this claim should be readily apparent. Not only can’t you hide anything from God, but why would you want to? God has already provided the solution to every hurt, every harm, every sin, every injury, every evil, every disease, every dysfunction, and every weapon formed against you. All of them. God has already declared that He wants you, that He chose you, that He loves you, that He has a mission for you, that He planned you and created you with intention for a purpose, and that you are perfect not because of what you have done, but because of what God can do in you, through you, and because of you.
The power of getting naked through fully embracing integrity, authenticity, transparency, and openness is that through accepting who God created you to be and refusing to be drawn into any of the many lies that the enemy would like you to embrace, you are genuinely, actually able to change reality, connect with other people, and have an eternal impact both in your own life and in the lives of those around you.
The fact is, if you are willing to become who God genuinely created you to be, the secret to success simply becomes the power of showing up.