I am so often amazed at the things God does for me, to help me and better me for His glory. I was reminded of one of those things a few Sundays ago. After the evening service, I was talking with the pastor’s wife. She commented on how easy it was to talk with me, and I was able to share with her how the Lord has brought me to this point.
You see, I have always struggled with shyness. As a child, there was actually a time when I refused to speak to anyone outside of my family- at church or school (needless to say, this didn’t go over very well with my teachers). Now I haven’t always been THAT crazy, but that shyness is always in my mind. My first response is fear or uncertainty when walking into a church full of unfamiliar faces. I struggle to approach those I do not know to introduce myself and start a conversation, but I do. With the Lord’s help, I do.
I had allowed myself to believe that it was alright for me to be shy, that it was just who I was. I would like to share what I have learned with those who struggle, as I do, to be bold.
1. I am NOT a shy person.
I know I’m not, because when I am with my family and friends, I have no problem relaxing and speaking out, argue even (but only when it’s really important, like when my team is losing in a game of Buzz Word)! So why do I hide behind this excuse?
2. I AM a prideful person.
I worry so much about what people think. What if I say something stupid? What if they laugh at me? What if I offend them? I could go on and on with the “what ifs”, but it all comes back to the fact that I am too concerned about what they think of ME.
3. Now what?
First of all, there is no need for me to worry about what others think. I know that God’s thoughts of me are of peace. I know that He loves me and has a plan for my life. (Jeremiah 29:11) This is the most important thing. When I realize who I am in Christ, it no longer matters what other people think. Jesus Christ died for me, and I am now alive in Him. I am a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17), and as such I do not need to hide behind my shyness. Letting it affect my actions is really me saying that I place more value in what other people think than what God thinks. This is a gross misunderstanding of my position in Christ. He gave His life for mine. Why would I waste this precious gift of life by being shy?
Second, I remember that God not only loves me and has these thoughts of peace for me, but everyone. To hide behind my shyness is to hide the love of Christ. Perhaps the young lady sitting alone in that pew doesn’t know what Jesus did for her. If I push my pride out of the way, I can share that with her!
Third, I must always remind myself that I cannot do this in my own strength. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) I struggle daily with this “shyness”, but I always find blessings when I put my trust in God and forget my pride. I have had opportunities to witness, share my testimony, and make new friends.
I praise God for all He’s taught me and I hope and pray that it may also be a help to you.