EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part 3 of a three-part column.
It has been said that intimacy means, "to be fully known and fully accepted."
Many of you are afraid to ever be intimate with anyone because you are scared to death of being fully known, because (you think), "if I were fully known, I mean if they knew that about me, then there is no way they would accept me."
So we spend so much time and energy covering huge portions of our lives that we are afraid of or that we are ashamed of. It is the same thing that Adam and Eve did.
As soon as they sinned, what did they do? First, they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves, and then they went and hid from God.
I want you to hear something that is huge -- we all have sin in our lives, we all have things about us that we want to cover up.
We may be ashamed of the way that we look, we may be ashamed of the way we dress, or of something that happened in our past. We may even be ashamed of our families.
We might be afraid of people thinking that we aren't as smart as we really are, or that we are not as courageous, or moral, or funny and the list goes on and on and on.
Because of this, people spend so much time and energy "sewing fig leaves" onto themselves, so people won't know the "real" them.
I want you to hear this -- as long as we do this, as long as we are not fully known, we can never really be intimate with anyone. Real relationships require trusting other people with yourself, warts and all.
We all are afraid of being known. How many of you see a bad picture of yourself on facebook and tag it? No, we delete it, because we want people to think we are better looking than that.
There is no way to be fully known by everyone, but there must be some people in your life that really known you. Even when you are weak, even when you are scared, and stupid, and ugly.
That is what real intimacy requires, to be fully known, and fully accepted. Trust me, when you allow yourself to be known, people will so appreciate your honesty and they will begin to trust you with the secrets of their soul as well.
When I was 18, I took my friend David's words to heart -- "All of life can be summed up in one word -- relationships." I started to build real relationships with other guys at Auburn University.
We shared everything with one another. We climbed mountains and rafted rivers together, we went on double dates together, and we went to parties and football games together, but we also prayed together.
We also confessed sins to one another, were there when one of us got sick, or had gotten dumped by a girl, or had failed greatly in a valiant effort.
The point is I had men in my life that knew me and I knew them and in those relationships I found life in a way that I never had before, and I found a glorious peace with God.
Jason Dees is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Covington. He can be reached at 770-786-9031 or www.firstbaptistcovington.com or www.facebook.com/jasondees.