In my last blog, I misspelled charity as cherity. I guess I could blame my spell-check because it doesn’t look at the title.
The error did make me think of my fear of trying, of reaching out to share with others yet being afraid of doing things so poorly that they are not worth doing or waiting too long to do anything at all because one will inevitably flub up
I had a psychiatric student once who had already dropped out of a career in radiology because he needed to do things perfectly and be 100% sure. He then tried psychiatry,(like that can be done perfectly!) He couldn’t even make the simplest decision for his patients because no decision is ever perfect.
So today don’t wait for perfection, or even until you polish your act. Give God what you have and he will take your feeble efforts and make them eternally useful. As he said to Moses, “What is that in your hand?” The rod of Moses. “Give it to me now it is the rod of God!”
There was a time I wouldn’t run groups because I am so poor at remembering names that I would inevitably embarrass myself by forgetting some name I ought to know. I was so shy I contemplated being a pathologist so that I wouldn’t have to deal with people! I liked people I was just fearful they wouldn’t like me. Hah! God had other plans.
I had to remember, it’s not about me it’s about him. Do I fear that the vessel that I am is too obviously clay? Then how much more the contrast of my clay and his treasure will show off how wonderful the treasure is and how impressive it is that God should use such clay.
Do you fear man and struggle with shyness? Let me be clear to all you fellow shy people, who like to beat yourselves up for being shy. Shyness is not a sin. However allowing my fears of mankind to keep me from reaching out because of the pain or embarrassment it would cause me is the sin of saying in my inner heart, “As far as I am concerned, you may go to Hell rather than that I should be uncomfortable reaching out and sharing with you.”
I might try to make my shy failure to pray out-loud, sing in church, witness, confront etc. look OK by saying that I would do it so badly that it would just cause trouble. Surely the Lord can find someone better to do the job. Trust me, there is plenty of work to go around for the super competent and the least competent alike. If I don’t obey, if the Lord seeks for someone to stand in the gap and I say “find someone else” then the gap may not get filled.
I was singing a solo at church a while back. This is an act of worship and sacrifice to God, as it does make me anxious. One of my friends came up afterwards and said that he’d really appreciated the way that I shook my music papers as I sang. He was glad that I struggled with anxiety as well. So my weakness ministered to him more than my singing.
1.Admit you have the fear, 2. thank God for the shyness,(We are to be grateful for everything always)3. focus on the need of the other.( If you knew someone would die if you didn’t warn them, wouldn’t you care more about their danger than worry what they would think of you for bothering them?) 4.Confess to a friend that sharing is hard for you but that God wants you to, if possible have someone with you for support.5.- AND TAKE THE RISK OF MAKING A FEW COMMENTS ON MY BLOG to add to the discussion or give examples of how God’s truth works out in your life.
I once asked people in my church to go with me door to door on their own block and introduce me as their pastor and let me take it from there. They were more worried about the possibility of their neighbors thinking that they were some sort of ‘Jesus freak’ than of the possible blessing that could have come to their neighbor by our intervention.
Romans 6.21 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ : for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth 4; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek .
John 17.26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
Ephesians 6:19,20 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.