For those who don’t know me, I am a shy person. I’m not as bad as I was when I was a little girl (I don’t hide behind my mom’s skirt anymore when someone tries to talk to me). But it is still something I struggle with.
This shyness, I have decided, stems from fear. Not that it’s logical, but that’s what it is.
Here are some of my fears:
Talking to people I don’t know
Talking to people on the phone
Failure – I tend to be a perfectionist and hate it when I’m wrong or don’t do something well.
People judging me (which is probably the source of the fear of talking to people)
These fears have stopped me from doing things that I would like to do and things that I know I should do.
God’s been working on me for a long time and I have finally started listening and it’s like my eyes have been opened and I see this message all the time now.
It’s kind of like when you have a baby, you start noticing all the babies everywhere you go and think, wow there are a lot of babies! When really it’s the same number as before but now you are more aware. Or if you get a new car, or learn about something you hadn’t heard of before, you start noticing that car or that thing everywhere you go. (Am I the only one this happens to??)
That’s how I have been lately with the lesson God is trying to get in my head.
I keep getting the same message over and over to NOT have fear. That God loves me and I am called to love him which means being obedient. I was listening to 1 John one day and when I got through chapter 4, the light bulb finally came on. All the pieces of the puzzle came together. The majority of the chapter (and book, really) is about God’s love and ours.
A couple of key verses that really clicked with me were 1 John 3:18: “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.” and 1 John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.”
Ironically, a few days before reading through this, I had done an impromptu Bible lesson with my kids at lunch time on this last verse 4:19. We love because God first loved us. We talked about what that means and about different ways we can love God (do what he says) and love others.
God was probably like HELLO?? That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you! And when I read 4:18: there is no fear in love, I was like whoa. Okay God, I get it. He wants me to love on others and not be afraid. Get out of my shell, trust He is going to take care of me and work through me and just do it.
Specifically I’ve been feeling nudged (ever feel nudged?) to love on my neighbors. This scares me to death. Remember how I said I was shy??? Yeah. This is not something I really wanted to do. It’s something I had been thinking about doing, it’s something that I told my husband Tim I wanted to do when we moved into our house a year ago. But my fears held me back.
But you know what? I did it. I finally decided that I just need to be obedient. I don’t even have to want to do it but with the way my mind works, I can follow rules, and if God says you need to love your neighbors then I can tell myself I’m going to obey. So I made some brownies with some peppermint vitality essential oil, attached a note with my name and phone number and address, took the kids and passed them out to each house on our cul-de-sac.
I was terrified. And secretly hoping that no one would answer their door. Most didn’t but the ones who did kind of gave me a weird look at first before I introduced myself and told them I was their neighbor but once I did they were the nicest people. And of course the kids had fun and I loved that I was being that example for them.
So what’s the point? God does not want us to live in fear. We were made to love Him and others. Perfect love drives out fear so don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
I’m still working on this of course, because I still get afraid. For example, teaching my essential oils classes. My day job is to be a teacher, I taught kids for 6 years before I switched to an advisory role. But put me in front of my peers or people older than me and I’m shaking in my boots! But I do it because I know the information can help people be healthier and feel better.
And each time it gets a little easier.
So I want to encourage you to think about what are you afraid of doing? What do you feel nudged to do but don’t want to do? You know, that’s Satan keeping you from being the person God called you to be. A wise friend of mine said something one time and I will never forget it. He said that if you have negative thoughts in your head, telling you something that is not true, that goes against what the Bible says, it’s Satan. God would not tell you things like you’re not good enough, or nobody loves you. Satan is the father of lies so you need to ask yourself is what I’m thinking from God or Satan? If it’s from Satan, denounce it and say, “No! That’s not true!” and remind yourself of what God has said:
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
God loves you and he wants you to go out and love on the people around you.
Love is an action word. What can you do this week to show someone you love them?