Who told you that you are naked? – The culture project

Somewhere from my childhood there is a picture of me with 3 friends at a kids pool party. Even though it’s been so long, even though I’ve forgotten these girls’ names, I can never shake this image out of my head. At a certain point I stopped seeing the happiness on our faces. I could only see one thing: the three in their bikinis against me in my more covered swimsuit. how old were we Like 5 years old. But when I started growing up. I realized that there was a deep insecurity lurking in my body that said, “Skinny girls wear bikinis, and fat girls wear tankinis and one-piece suits.” If I didn’t wear bikinis, I wouldn’t be considered skinny, I would be considered fat. If I wanted to wear a bikini, I had to earn it by being skinny enough to rock it. Who told me these lies? When was the tipping point for me — the point where I stopped experiencing freedom with swimming and instead started feeling anxious every time I prepared to wear a bathing suit?

You too may have a memory of suddenly becoming self-conscious about your body at some point in your childhood. Maybe it’s something to think about and pray about. But this experience of the loss of freedom through a new self-confidence is actually not new. All of us have probably felt at odds with our bodies at some point in our lives, even though we are mind-body human beings created in the image and likeness of God. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, knew this turning point all too well.

It’s a story we’ve heard many times (Genesis 3). Adam and Eve were betrayed by the serpent and tricked into eating the fruit that was not meant for them. Here’s what happened next…

“Then Both of their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. When they heard the sound of the Lord God walking about in the garden at the windy time of day, the man and his wife hid from the Lord God under the trees of the garden.”

Sin. Shame. Hide. The look that was once pure is no longer. Adam and Eve will never be the same. You will never look at each other the way you used to. You will never look at yourself the way you used to.

“Then the Lord God called to the man and asked him, ‘Where are you? He replied: “I heard you in the garden; but I was scared because I was naked, so I hid. Then God asked: Who told you that you are naked? Did you eat from the tree I told you not to eat from?”

Here’s a common misconception: many people recognize this in God’s question, “Who told you you were naked?” that He had hidden the truth from them and is now upset that someone was telling them the secret that He had been hiding. This is not our God! The idea of ​​”being naked” that arises from the serpent’s intervention has a twisted implication: that nudity is bad. That our body is bad. That there should be discord between our body and our soul, even though we created both body and soul. These are lies from the enemy!

Whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not, the wounds of mankind’s original sin are deep in our every body and soul. None of us are unaffected by it. Most of us will experience the rupture that was caused then today. The four relationships of original unity broken in the garden include: male and female, male and creation, male and self, and male and God.
How have you experienced the pain of these fractures in your own history?

Chances are at some point in your life you’ve developed a special awareness of your body, believing it’s bad, wrong, or not ____ enough. God hears these lies you believe and in answer He has a question for you: Who told you?

Who told you you’re not beautiful?
Who told you that you are too thin or too fat?
Who told you you’re not attractive enough to stand out Who told you that you’re unlovable?

Whatever lie you believe, fill in this blank. Who has told you that? God asks because the answer unlocks everything. God doesn’t tell you these lies. The enemy does. He lies and cheats and betrays and tricks and twists and distorts. Why would you believe the lies of someone so wicked and untrustworthy when our loving Father is telling us the truth? Let’s start today by 1) asking the big question, 2) renouncing the lies we have internalized, and 3) proclaiming the truth about who we really are.

You’re good. Body and soul. You are made in his image. And you are completely loved. Even in and especially in the places where you feel least lovable.

human dignity • true beauty • true love • the cultural project • theology of the body