“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
I read something a while back that kind of stuck with me: “Skinny girls look good in clothes, fit girls look good naked.”
In the business of the last 5 or 6 weeks, I have royally fallen away from my fitness routine. I really enjoy exercise, it’s making time for it that’s difficult. And, to be honest, the searing heat of Mississippi summers is not exactly motivating to get even more hot and sweaty than I already get just walking from one air-conditioned building to the next. We’re already at heat indices of 105 and have several months of humid, sticky weather to endure before the first breezes of fall bring relief.
We come into this world absolutely naked. Innocent. And completely dependent. We learn to walk, to ride bicycles, pick up heavy objects, to run. We learn that certain foods taste better to us than others. We learn that being in good physical shape requires discipline and dedication. If we want to look good naked, not feel shame about the size and shape of our bodies, most of us have to work toward that end.
According to the writer of Genesis, Adam and Eve were naked too. It says they felt “no shame.” Well hey, they were probably vegan right? Living in a garden, apparently hadn’t killed anything to eat its meat. I’m sure there wasn’t a donut shop around the corner. But it’s not just physical shame they didn’t feel, it was inner shame. They were innocent. They walked in perfect communion with the Heavenly Father. They had nothing to hide from Him, or each other.
But we know that changed. And the first thing they did was try to cover themselves. And then, when God found them, He clothed them.
Unhealthy habits like overeating or compulsive eating are usually caused by other motivating factors. Anxiety, depression. We all look for that which comforts us, and sometimes, that’s food. It satisfies an emptiness. Pads our insecurities lest someone see them.
But you know what else is satisfying? Finishing a hard workout. The smell of sautéed vegetables or the fresh ripeness of a healthy fruit. Seeing the before and after pictures of ourselves when we have undergone a physical transformation.
Similarly, I believe this is what God wants for us, inwardly. For us to take a good long look at our naked spirit. Take an inventory of what we’ve been feeding that spirit. And then putting in the often painful work of spiritual transformation.
We will not reach perfection in this life. Physically or otherwise. But to live life to its fullest, to do our most good in this world, being in good shape is important. You can get by as you are, or you can strive for better. It’s not easy, but it all comes down to how you feel when you’re naked. Exposed.
I do believe we will have to stand naked before God one day. Though our bodies are a “temple”, I really don’t know that God is going to care as much about what we did with those as He will care about the fitness level of our spirit. Did we love as He commanded? Even when we were oppressed by the heat and humidity that are the most difficult people and circumstances of our lives? Did we do the right thing, when reaching for the comforting thing would have been easier? Will we be desperate to clothe ourselves, or will we be unashamed of our naked and exposed spirit?