Are you aware of how you are hiding? You are hiding, you know, whether you think you are or not. That is, unless you’ve found complete and total transformation in Jesus and are fully formed in His image. Otherwise, you’re hiding. Hiding and intimacy cannot coexist. And you need intimacy. So it’s time to stop hiding. But how do you do that?
When sin entered this world the first thing human beings did was hide. Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves and hid among the trees in the Garden of Eden when God showed up. (Genesis 3:7-8)
And humans have been hiding ever since.
So, how are you hiding?
There are good reasons for you to hide. The world is not a safe place. You may have started hiding in babyhood, if your mother or caretaker didn’t understand you and care for you well. Or perhaps your mother or caretaker nurtured you awesomely, but in childhood you were exposed to cruelty through family conflict, bullying, abuse, exposure to porn, or other adverse experiences. Or maybe you’re one of the rare people who made it to adolescence without significant trauma, but then high school “got you.”
If adverse childhood experiences weren’t enough to make you hide, your own sin nature is enough to cause you to do that. The enemy loves to entice you, but the moment you fall he heaps shame on you – and then you can’t help but hide.
How to Hide
If an alien from outer space wanted to learn how to hide, you could probably give them a graduate level course in the subject. You’ve been doing it all your life.
Some people hide in the “obvious” ways. They keep mostly to themselves. Nobody really knows the struggles they experience, or what’s really going on inside. They have no close friends, and if they’re married the connection with their spouse is somewhat superficial at best. When they face pain, they figuratively curl up in a ball and wrap their tail around their nose – and hide. No one knows their true feelings; they’re not even sure they know them themselves.
Others hide in “louder” ways, but it’s hiding just the same. They may become adept at using anger or manipulation to keep people at a distance. Constant busyness or excellent performance keep the focus on outward matters instead of matters of the heart. Even if they’re the life of the party, does anyone really “know” them? Ben Higgins of Batchelor fame writes about this in Alone in Plain Sight. Leaders are often truly skilled in hiding this way.
In addition, little or big addictions provide ready-made ways to hide, especially from oneself. Alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, shopping, overwork, even anger – wonderful ways to ignore what’s really going on inside.
And about that sex thing; it’s easy to believe that taking the clothes off your body will allow you to experience intimacy. But if your soul is still hiding, sex eventually always becomes strangely unsatisfying. You’re not experiencing real intimacy, the intimacy God created you to need and desire.
And we haven’t even talked yet about hiding from God. If you’re so skilled at hiding from yourself and others, it’s no wonder you hide from God even without thinking about it.
Intimacy and Hiding
God created you with the need, desire, and capacity for intimacy. It’s part of how you are made in His image. Something inside you longs to have the experience of being “naked and unashamed.” (Genesis 2:25) And your soul is never truly satisfied without that.
So you try to connect, to find that intimacy you were made for. But you’ve got walls you’re hiding behind. And you can’t hide behind walls and connect with real intimacy at the same time. What a double-bind! What a conundrum!
True intimacy, the kind God created you for, the kind Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden, does not only or primarily mean nothing between physically. Just as much, it means nothing between emotionally and spiritually. No clothes covering the inner places of your soul.
That sounds nice. Something inside may be saying, I’d like that. But how do you get there?
Coming Out of Hiding
When Jesus interacted with people He did not approach them with, “Shape up! Or you’re going to hell!” Instead, it was “I see you. Come, let’s deal with your stuff!”
And He’s saying that same thing to you now.
Whether it’s sexual “stuff” that you’re using to hide while hoping for intimacy, or something else, this process works:
- Own your story. Looking at both what happened to you and what you’ve done in response, with both honesty and compassion. That’s how Jesus looks at your story, after all.
- Share your story. God designed you to grow and thrive in community. That’s where you find healing. (James 5:16) You will need to choose prayerfully who to share with, but this will make all the difference in the world.
- Invite Jesus into your story. He already knows, of course. But He doesn’t “fix” you at arm’s length. He waits until you invite Him close, invite Him in. And when He comes in, He changes everything.
Our new online course Sexpectations walks you through that process. You’ll uncover and address the broken places in your story where you’ve been trying to hide. You’ll find real transformation in the process and be empowered to write the next chapter of your story with hope.
I’d love to have you join us in this course!
Your Turn: So, how are you hiding? Who are you hiding most from – yourself, others, God? What next step are you going to take to come out of hiding? Leave a comment below.
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- Humans have been hiding ever since the Garden of Eden. YOU are hiding. But you need and desire intimacy. Hiding and intimacy – they can’t coexist. So it’s time to come out of hiding. Tweet that.