Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Timid

What keeps us from our ‘What if’s’ in life? What keeps us from taking those steps forward? I think it’s that too many of us wear the name tag of Timid, believing we cannot do the task God’s placed in front of us; not because we’re not able, but because we lack the courage.

Have you ever really looked at the definition of ‘timid’? Here it is:

Timid: lacking in self-assurance, courage, or bravery; easily frightened or upset; shy.

Now I am not even going to try and pretend here. That definition is me. I cringe when placed in a group. I cannot remember names for the life of me, even if I have met you more times than you can count. I cannot easily express my thoughts when speaking, and just the thought of having to do so has me quaking in my sneakers. I don't really like attention of any sort. I am shy and if I had my choice, I’d stay well away from new situations and new people. Can anyone else relate? God’s been working on me with this one though, and I hope to be an encouragement today to those of us that struggle with being timid.

You see, there’s a problem with believing we’re timid and it’s put me in a quandary these last few months. For starters, there’s a few verses that I know but until recently chose not to apply to this area in my life. Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of sound mind.” Great verses for many things, but I never used them when God laid it on my heart to go talk to my neighbor. Instead, I had to remind God that I’m shy.

Those two words “I’m shy” became like a little sign I hid behind, my finger pointing to the next person so that He’d pass over me. And quite honestly, I was just fine with that! Sure, I’ve always had a burning desire for everyone to know God, I just didn’t want to be the one to tell them about Him. I mean, I can talk all day about His grace and His glory, and if someone specifically asked about God I’d tell them. I just didn’t want to be pulled out of out of my comfort zone to speak with another person. Besides, don’t you have to have some sort of special calling for that?

About the time I asked the above question I received a Love Shove. All of us who are saved should feel a calling to reach the lost, and we don’t need to be a preacher to do that. God also reminded me that He had created my personality. It was of no surprise to Him, and He didn’t create it to be used as an excuse. Once again, while focusing on my label I was taking the focus off of His power in my life and shining it on me. There are people out there who desperately need Him, and my excuse for not reaching them is “I’m shy”. How is that going to hold up someday when I stand before God? I'm guessing not too well.

So listen, we who are Timid cannot continue to define ourselves through that label. There is a lost world out there who needs God and if we don’t go tell them about Him, who will? I am not saying you have to get on a stage and preach this Sunday (though if God calls you to it, you better listen!). But I am saying we cannot live in our houses, saved by Grace and keeping it to ourselves.

Big talk, I know. I cringe even typing these words because if I’m saying them I’d better be willing to live them. It’s a daily process for me. But here’s the amazing thing about God; when you focus on Him all other things fade away. There is a boldness that comes from Christ that is found no place else. It comes through His power in our lives and that’s what we want others to see; Him, not us! Just look at how Paul explained it: “When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.” (I Corinthians 2:1-5)

We may know what it means to be timid, lacking in courage. We can even identify with Paul in his trembling. But we cannot let that stop us from reaching a lost world, especially when God wants to use it to reach them. Remember when we are weak, He is strong!

One day this world is going to end. One day we will all stand before the Lord. Don't let one of your 'What If's' be 'What if I would have told them...' Instead, the next time you feel God nudging you to do something and you believe your name is Timid, I want you to remember these words that David spoke and I’m now speaking to you: “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you.” AMEN!

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