Naked And Unafraid

Discovery ChannelMy parents love this show called “Naked And Afraid.” Ever seen it?

On every episode 2 strangers meet, completely naked, on an abandoned island and try to survive with no supplies and no clothes for 21 days.

To me this show is the height of insanity. I spend the entire time petrified thinking about the extreme discomfort these contestants must be in. I certainly can’t imagine ever “competing” on the show.

Yet “Naked And Afraid” has been going on for 4 seasons. It’s even spawned an entire naked television genre, with “Dating Naked” and other bare-skinned shows populating the cable airwaves.

I used to think “Naked And Afraid” was the craziest show on tv. But I’m starting to wonder if maybe the contestants on this show are onto something. 

Because whereas I used to watch and wonder: “Can someone survive these terrifying moments stripped of everything they rely on most in this world?”

Now I just think to myself: “Well, yeah. Of course they can. That’s what God made us to do after all.”

Life was meant to be lived naked.

God created human beings to be naked in the book of Genesis. You may not realize this, but He still does.

Obviously there’s no going back to the garden. We can’t all walk around without our clothes on like Adam and Eve. For one thing there’s laws getting in the way of that.
But I think the real reason we don’t live naked is because we’re afraid.

The problem is we started thinking we need other things to survive – we started pulling fruit from the tree of wisdom and started hiding behind fig leaves.

From cell phones to fast food to tools to clothes, we still collect things along the way in life we think we need to help us survive.

We’re afraid of not having the things in this life that comfort us. We’re afraid of not having the things we think we need to get by.

That’s why, as one producer of “Naked And Afraid” described in a recent interview, stripping contestants out of their clothes creates an incredible challenge:

“Clothing, it protects you from bugs. It protects you from the sun. It provides so much that most people don’t really realize. And so stripping that away, taking that away from us, just adds another element to the survival challenge. It makes it that much harder.”

Yet as the show illustrates week after week, we don’t actually need any of the comforts we think we do – not even clothes – to survive.

I think that’s how God really and truly wants us to live – stripped naked of all the things we attach our hopes to in this world, putting our faith and trust only and absolutely in God.

All we ever needed and all we ever will need we have in God. He was the great provider and sustainer in the Garden and He still is today.

I like the way Jerry Seinfeld put it on a recent episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee as he gave advice to future “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah:

“You don’t need to know anything. Everything you need to know, you’ll figure it out when you need to know it.  Even if you miscalculate and make the wrong decision, you needed to know that.”

I know that type of wisdom is not directly found in any of the scriptures. Still, I think it’s a pretty perfect summation of this whole idea of being naked – stripped down from everything the world says will protect us and depending on God and God alone to provide what we need.

I still don’t think I could ever work up the courage to broadcast my bare, bug bite-riddled body to the world on “Naked And Afraid”. But the more I think about it, the more I want to live naked and unafaid in this world. Untethered to the comforts of man and arming myself only with my faith in God.

For when He created human beings to be naked, God was showing that the only thing He ever intended His people to depend on was Him. Even when you’re stripped of everything you have, if you have God you still have everything you need.
Donald Miller expands upon the idea of being “spiritually naked” in his book Searching For God Knows What. It’s one of my favorite ideas he’s ever written on and definitely inspired parts of this post even though there are no direct quotes here. I encourage you to check it out and read the whole thing if you never have before.
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