Are You Shy? What IS Shyness?
"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith.'” Romans 1:16-17 Many believers ARE ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. They would deny that if accused, but they show it in their reluctance to speak of him publicly or in front of friends. Face it saints, Jesus said the world is going to HATE you, that is a fact, that is not going to change. Let them. "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:19 So the believer has to make up his mind how he is going to abide in Christ KNOWING he will be put down for it, knowing he will be mocked for it, knowing people will talk about him behind his back because of it and laugh at him because of it. And he has to make up his mind whether that is a price too dear to pay. Sometimes that IS too much to ask, especially to a person who is "shy." But let's talk about shyness for a minute. What IS shyness? Shyness isn't a virtue, shyness is a weakness. It's based in fear. And that is the very thing that one has to overcome, fear of man. But ...what is fear of man based in? It's based in pride. It will hurt my pride if people talk about me behind my back. It would decimate my pride to know that people are laughing at me behind my back. So I keep quiet - so that people will like me. I won't LET the words of Jesus about being hated come true in my life, I won't do anything that will cause people to hate me. And so ...this person has truly fulfilled the first part of the Scripture, he is ashamed of the Gospel. The first step in repentance is always going to be coming to acknowledge the truth about one's self. If we can redefine shyness and call it what it is, then maybe we have a chance to eventually confront the true stronghold - which is the deadly sin of pride. It's always pride, isn't it. It brought down the most beautiful and gifted of all the angels, and it brings down mankind. Pray with me: Father, I have not been able to admit that I am ashamed of the Gospel. What a terrible thing, it's too terrible for me to face this truth. How could I think I'd possibly deny you, yet in staying quiet about you I have denied you. I've comforted myself telling myself that it's ok because I'm just shy. Help me, Father, to see just what "shyness" really is, the fear of the opinions of people, and behind that ...is the deadly sin of pride which cannot allow me to be willing to accept their hatred as you have said it will be in this world. Help me to internalize that you have given to me the greatest gift mankind can be privileged to have, the gift of knowing you and receiving your great salvation through being born again through faith in your Son. Help me to understand clearly that you have CALLED ME OUT of the world, into a Kingdom that those outside cannot comprehend and will not comprehend. "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are FOOLISHNESS to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14 It will always be that way, and I need to know how to abide in you Father, regardless of the fact that it will seem as foolishness to the world and I will appear to them as a fool. Let me come to the ACCEPTANCE that that is a price I have to be willing to pay. Let me put down my ugly, awful pride and abide in you at any cost, and not silently. The Gospel is the most gracious and glorious and unparalleled gift that can be received by man, and has been given to us at such a price TO YOU, Lord. Let me come to so deeply appreciate it, and to love you so much that there will be no price too dear for me to pay as I rejoice publicly in the wonder of what you have done in my life through "the power of God to salvation," rejoicing in all it has meant to me and to all who have dared to follow you.