"The Fear Of Human Opinion Disables; Trusting In God Protects You From That."
Proverbs 29:25 (The Message)
I read tonight that shyness can be a form of pride, that fear of what other people will think about us and being overly concerned with their opinions, can be reflection of obsession with self.
Scripture says we are not be worried about the opinions of others, that we are not to fear what people think about us or even what they say about us, if we are doing what we know is right.
In fact, according to 2 Timothy 3:12, if we are striving to live Godly lives, we can expect not to be liked.
I must have missed the memo that day when it went out.
That was a joke. :)
I have spent my life worried about what others thought of me, no matter who they were, even if I never saw that person again, I still cared more about what others thought, and less about what He thought.
I don't think anyone has ever used the word "shy" to describe me, timid perhaps, shy not so much.
I watch and take it all in before I make any sort of move and I have never been one to just dive right in.
I am the type of person who will just dip a toe in the water to gauge the temperature, instead of jumping right in.
I worry about the impression I will make, on the people I am about to engage with.
I go through a list a mile long, from how my hair is looking, to the shoes I am wearing and quite frankly, it can be exhausting.
I do it when I am speaking to people about Him.
That changed for me today.
Today I removed the cloak of timidness (I do LOVE the jacket below. Way cute!).
As I was posting on the discussion board for my evangelism class, I was struck with a wave of clarity.
You see I have been pondering for quite some time...
What kind of Pastor I will be?
Will I make a difference?
Will I fail?
Will I have victory?
How does He want me to deliver the messages He continues to imprint on my heart?
As I sat here answering a classmate, I could hear His voice as clear as day; Boldly.
The conversation went something like this;
Boldly? (Yep, that is me, always questioning)
With passion, with love and with boldness.
Follow My Words, follow the Book that has been laid out before you, don't deviate from any of My Word.
What if the people don't like it? (Again with the questions)
Not everyone will.
What if they don't like me? (I really need to learn to stop asking questions)
It doesn't matter.
I don't know how to be bold. (That would be more like a whisper)
You are no longer in your comfort zone, I have placed you where I want you to be, where you will make a difference, for My Kingdom, for Me.
Don't deviate from My Word.
And just like that, the conversation was over, the cloak of timidness was shed and I knew without a shadow of a doubt, what He wants me to do & how He wants me to do it.
You see I had just posted on the discussion board, how I have been watching several Pastors and how they deliver their messages and I was struck with the fact that out of all of them, only a few of them ever mentioned Hell, the majority of them hardly ever mentioned the consequences of sin and very rarely are they bold in the delivery of their messages.
It is almost as if they are immune to what society deems as "okay" and in my heart I knew I didn't want to become like that; A feel-good Pastor, who sugar-coats the message to appeal to the congregation and what they want to hear.
I also knew I didn't want to be the type of Pastor people wouldn't come to, thinking perhaps that I didn't have the time for them.
It is extremely crucial to me that I don't fall prey to the enemy, that the line I walk has a complete balance between what He wants from me and what I deliver.
That the messages are directly from my Father, backed exclusively with the Gospel, that there isn't any form of coddling where sinful behavior is concerned, and that it is done with compassion and love.
I am very blessed to have three mentors in my path who also follow this same style.
These three are wonderful people who share their extensive amount of wisdom with me, who guide me when I can't quite figure out where to place my next step, who love me regardless of who I used to be, who answer question after question (imagine that), who show me what patience is (thank you M) who show me how beautiful a Godly woman truly is (thank you R) and who show me that emotions, all of them, are allowed to be expressed, to be felt, without shame (thank you Pastor).
I used to think being blessed meant you had a healthy bank account, a nice shiny new car, a big house that the neighbors envied, a loving husband, 2.4 children and a white, picket fence.
Now I know what it means to be truly blessed and it has nothing to do with any of those things.
It has to do with the way you truly "see" things.
It is a perfect love.
It is waking up one more day, to see a gorgeous sunrise.
It is a feeling inside you, one that no human can produce for you, it is Him.
It is a love that is fierce and passionate, protective and gentle, a love no one can give you, like He can.
It is knowing He died for me, before I was even born, because He loved me that much.
It is climbing into His lap and crying for all the pain you feel, for all the devastation you see and knowing He is crying with you.
It is closing your eyes in a Summer rainshower, knowing He is pouring His love down upon you.
It is so many beautiful things, that have nothing to do with material things.
He loves you, just for who you are and that right there is a marvelous blessing.
Shed the cloak you are wearing, whether it be shame, timidness, shyness, arrogance, hatred, weariness etc...
Put on a new cloak today, His cloak, filled with a love you will never, ever be able to comprehend, never, ever be able to describe and one you will never, ever want to let go of.
In His Grace And Unfailing Love
The Risen King Gave His Hand To Us
To Lift Us Up, From The Pit
And Set Our Feet Upon A Rock That Ever Stands