Monday, April 19, 2010

Why Are You Hiding? (Part 1)

I recently read the following:

No one wants to be weak, so we find ways to appear strong.1

As humans, we detest any sign of weakness. We expend tremendous effort, cost and time covering up our flaws. A strong man will use his muscular body to bolster his confidence. A beautiful woman maximizes her face and body to gain the approval she seeks from others.

Where is your strength? What do you depend on when exposure to your flaws is at risk? When confronted with the truth about yourself, do you hide your flaws?

Adam and Eve faced this dilemma in the Garden of Eden. After eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they realized they were naked. When God called out to them, they hid from Him. It was a trait they would pass down to each human descendant; hiding from God.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He walked in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, 'Where are you?' He answered, 'I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.'2

We all seek to maintain a level of confidence about our identity; confidence gives you a sense of worth. What gives you confidence? Perhaps you are intelligent. Maybe you are beautiful. Your muscles may bolster your confidence. Maybe you are an excellent cook or you know how to fix things. Maybe your job gives you pride and confidence about who you are. Is it a uniform you wear or the kind of car you drive? Each of us has something that we use to mask the fear deep within us; a fear of revealing the truth about who we really are. It’s the primary reason we hide.

We can’t afford to allow anyone to see us weak. We tell ourselves, “I can’t let them see me like this.” But what we’re really saying is, “I'm afraid, because of who I am, so I hide the truth about myself.

I believe in God and because of that I believe that God is honest, truthful and the standard for integrity; qualities which He wants to reveal in us. We need to be transparent before God and others. I believe that God put that need in us. I also believe that oftentimes who we really are, is revealed by our own sabotaged attempts at deception. We don’t want to reveal the truth about ourselves and yet, the steps we take to avoid exposure reveal that very truth.

The thief gets caught, an immoral politician exposed, a Ponzi scheme discovered, an athlete with a secret life; all exposed to the revealing light of truth. Why? Do they subconsciously want to be honest and truthful about their life? Adam hid among the trees and yet, he still confessed before God.

In the biblical definition, nakedness doesn’t just mean without any clothing. The Hebrew word Aram (aw-ram’) means to be (or make) bare. This Hebrew word is derived from the concept of smoothness, being without flaw. Outside, there is nothing visibly wrong to be seen; like a smooth pebble which has no rough edges. Inside, there is nothing hidden, stored or perishable. This is contrasted with a piece of fruit which looks ripe and delicious on the outside only to reveal that it first rots from within. There is a clear, clean honesty in the concept of Aram (aw-ram’); that honesty was put there by God. I believe God wants us to be transparent; visible, honest and unafraid.

God made Adam and Eve bare (or Aram). Why? In His creative work, God made them without flaws so that they would have open, honest, face-to-face communication with Him in the Garden. It’s what God wants from all of us; to be unafraid so that each of us has open, honest communication with Him.

Although Adam and Even hid from God, were they truly invisible? Even though Adam was afraid, fearful and hiding, he heard the voice of God call him. He acknowledged his fear in the presence of God by standing before God and confessing.

I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid…3

How do you respond when you are called to account for yourself? When the truth about you is about to be revealed, do you hide behind your intelligence, your beauty, your talent, your youth, your money, your job or your family? Are you afraid that seeing your flaws will diminish how others view you? Maybe you’ll appear as someone not that smart or pretty or strong. Perhaps God is calling you out, but because of your fear and flaws, you choose to remain hidden.

None of us are perfect no matter how much we cover ourselves. The truth cannot be hidden. You cannot make yourself right! No matter how good you make yourself, no matter how good or tight your game is; you remain flawed.

It is good to know that God no longer holds your flaws against you.

Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”>”4

I have found this to be the case in my life (particularly when I'm questioned about something I prefer to remain hidden from others). I can think of numerous times when I was lost driving but rather than acknowledge it, I would give my wife an alternative explanation for where we are.

"Is this still the interstate?"

"No, I got off because I was looking for a service station."

None of us are perfect now, no matter how much we cover ourselves. The truth cannot be hidden. You cannot make yourself right! No matter how good you make yourself, no matter how good or tight your game is; you remain weak.

It is good to know that God no longer holds your weakness against you.

Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.4

Tomorrow, I will discuss the benefits of living a transparent life before God and others.

Footnotes:
  1. Strength in Weakness, Julie Ackerman Link, RBC Ministries
  2. Genesis 3:8-10, NIV
  3. Genesis 3:10, NIV
  4. Romans 8:1-2, NIV
References:
  1. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, By James B. Strong, S.T.D, LL.D., Riverside Book and Bible House, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126
  2. Unger's Bible Dictionary, By Merrill F. Unger, Moody Press, Chicago
  3. The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
  4. The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6

1 comments:

Pat said...

"Wonderful Post"!!! Indeed God wants us to be honest and open,we cannot reach others for Jesus by pretending to be something or someone that we are not.We need to know and let others know that Jesus took care of all of our flaws on the cross,so be yourself no need to hide,for only God can bring lasting changes in us,the other is fake and will not last! Really good I enjoyed the read!
Have a wonderful day :)