For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
God doesn’t want us to be shy with His gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.
I grew up shy, even though my mom and dad had amazing personalities. She was a media magnet: beautiful and famous as a model. He was a great speaker: charming and surrounded by friends. Both of my brothers were popular, but me? I was fat, serious and shy. I was so shy, that even as a teen, I had trouble making eye contact with strangers.
My mom's solution to my shyness was to enroll me in acting classes, and it worked--at least on the outside. I still felt insecure, but I learned not to show it. I never felt like I measured up. To me, I wasn't worthy of friends or success. And if they came, they wouldn't last. Shyness is a wall that divides us from dreams, delights--and destiny.
Today, in my travels with AMTC, I meet many people who are similarly afflicted--especially children. Parents say, 'You should see Suzy at home. She's a performer. Once she warms up to you, she talks a mile a minute. But sometimes at first, she's shy.' We may never know the real Suzy, because she doesn't receive a callback.
A talented teen or adult bitten by shyness may express it differently. He performs, but he holds back--because he's not fully engaged. The clutch is not pushed to the floor, and he chokes on his audition. Even if he auditions well, something seems missing. He's not shining as brightly as God intends.
Despite the measure of his gifts, he doubts. Thoughts enter his head: 'You're not good enough. You can't do this. You'll be embarrassed. You may never get booked. If you do, it won't last. You need to turn back. Stay home. Hold on to what you've got.'
I've come to the conclusion that shyness is a demon. When we're children, it almost seems cute--like a blanket we carry. By the mouths of parents, shyness is accepted: 'She's just shy.' Unwittingly, parents word-curse their loved ones. In their affirmation of shyness, they give it space to grow.
But demons aren't cute, and the dirty blanket of shyness needs to be recognized and discarded by God's children--young and old.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Deny Shy series.