Getting naked with your friends

What do you fear?

When all the noise is gone, what nags at you? When the make-up is gone and the tie is hung in the closet, what voice do you hear? In the darkest of night, when you cannot sleep and thoughts swirl around the corners of your ceiling, what is it that calls your name?

Usually we are told to be overcomers, to shake our fist at the sky, and claim victory. It is very rare that we come face to face with our fears. But it’s the basest of all questions. In fact, it lies at the root of the very first question ever uttered to man.

Get Naked with your friends

After the  first sin, God came in the garden, to go on his usual walk with Adam and Eve. They heard him coming and found covering for their shame, weaving together fig leaves to fool the one who made them.

Then came the question. “Where are you, Adam?”

And the answer. “We hid because we were afraid.”

They were afraid of being exposed – literally and metaphorically.

And that fear has never changed. We all still are afraid of being shown to be frauds, fakes. We fear that our true person will be known, so we go through all kinds of ridiculous side shows  just to prove we’re somebody we’re not. I’ve spent a lifetime in the big show until it all came crumbling down.

We all have something to hide – a secret pill we ingest that we hope no one sees. We’re ashamed and yet we plod on. We will never escape the power and the grip of our secret selves until we open up to God first, and then to others.

Do you fear exposure? Do you fear your real self will be shown?

When we begin to hide who we are, we find company with the father of lies and we find it easier to duck and hide. We find it easy to change our perfectly Instagrammed selfies, with just the right hue and color.

Getting naked with our friends has nothing to do with clothes and everything about growth. If you fear exposure, the best thing you can do is start telling the truth – right now.

Find a small group of like-minded people. This may take some work. You may have to go outside the lines drawn by your church, your skin color, your social class, your age.

And then, within that small group, find one or two people that you can start to peel off the mask. Go slowly.

Do you have friends you can be honest with? Do you fear exposure?

Thanks to Chad Brugeman, pastor of Red Rocks Church, who is preaching a series on Edenology — the Fears we Face for inspiration for this!


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  • Isn’t it interesting how sometimes it’s easier to be completely honest with strangers than it is with friends whom (we’ve assumed) have already formed ideas/opinions about us? For example, I’ve had plenty of “strangers” break down, tell me their tale, and cry on my shoulder at the farmer’s market where I work when I ask them about their day.

    Maybe it’s because they don’t feel like they’ve got anything to lose by sharing with an unknown….

    Anyway, thanks for this piece.


  • Unfortunately, I have to be picky, not for friends, but for friends I choose to say things to.

    • Pastors are in a lonely place…and you have to be very cautious in this openness.

  • Like it or not, we *will* go about naked as a jaybird in some things in a face-to-face situation simply because some people are quite adept at reading between the lines. See the post “Scars” on my blog for some of what I’m referring to.

    That being said, we evangelicals downplayed the healthy aspects of confession a long time back, and a lot of folks in the self-help industry have made lots of bucks because we somehow think we need to pay for what we could have with a good friend for free.

    Pastors – folks like Bill and others – need to be a bit on the pickier side. In part because of the pedestals we lay folk tend to put them on, and in part because we are so stingy with extending mercy to a hurting human being when they wear that title.

    Darlene nails another piece – partial (or total) anonymity makes it easier for a lot of folks who otherwise might be terrified to dump the toxic crap they carry.

    In the rooms, there’s an expression that you can’t save your face and your tail at the same time (this is the cleaned up version of the expression – you get the point) :) If I want to life as Christ would have be do it – carrying a cross and not a garbage sack – then I need to go to the dump regularly.

  • hisfirefly

    preach it, David. I have been saying similar for some years now, seeking “real” relationships, between myself and my God and my self and others

    • Thank you Karen. You mentioned real relationship with God. Its amazing the stuff I try to hide from him. Like he doesn’t know already!

  • Sir David, thanks for this place where we feel safe enough to be real.


    • Do you find it easier to be real online — often with strangers — than with local friends?

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  • I have to admit, I clicked on this because of the title! However, I think the church should be a place where you’re not afraid of exposure, a place where there’s enough trust to confide in others. Unfortunately it’s not always that way. Small groups are a great help but our tendency will always be to hide and to draw into isolation. I feel that one of the main jobs of a pastor is to encourage healthy fellowship that is open and trusting in the church.

    • I think many churches are trying hard to get to this place of honesty. I’ve been guilty of hiding behind my own pride for many years. Now, I just don’t care if I’m popular or well liked.

  • A friend of mine was talking about a work of fiction she’s reading where initiation into a group required you to take truth serum and then answer a bunch of really pointed and probing questions. It was scary just thinking about it in a way. That’s just how we protect ourselves – selectively being vulnerable.

    Just this Sunday, in my life group class, one lady opened up about something very, very personal in relation to her marriage. And it changed the entire class. Everyone grew closer as a result.