Saturday, August 28, 2004
The Curse of Shyness
Shyness, a curse?
Yes, that's the way this formerly shy person sees it.
As a child I was painfully shy, ditto as an adult. I won't go into the reasons for my shyness, but rather, the awful effects.
I cringe when I think of all the years I was too shy to encourage strangers downtown with friendly words. Myself, I went through a bout of depression in the 1980's and I remember how much the kindness of strangers meant to me during those years. When I think of how my shyness kept me from blessing others who needed uplifting words? I cringe even now.
How could I have been so selfish?
And how often did my shyness keep me from defending truth? How many times did keep quiet while others maligned people I knew or those in leadership positions? The Bible says we will be held accountable for not speaking up when we should have (and not keeping quiet when we should have, also). More shuddering.
How often was I too shy/afraid/cowardly to give compliments? Or to voice gratitude? David Grayson said, "Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so..." Been there, done that.
How many people did I put-off visiting because I was too afraid to go alone? With many of them, I no longer have an open door, either because of distance in miles or because death has separated us forever.
Well, you get the idea.
But for the last few years I've been leaving a different legacy. And oh, what a different kind of life I lead! Brick by painful brick, Jesus has helped me dismantle this wall of debilitating shyness and now it remains a very short wall which I can usually step over with His help.
Especially when I remind myself of the consequences of hiding behind that wall, instead.