It’s amazing how, when we open ourselves up to God, just how much he shows us; how much we can learn.
Like the time, recently, when my wife and I went to the movies and had one of those impromptu meetings with another couple that I met just once several weeks ago. I recalled their names and greeted them by name. The first meeting was a positive one, as was this one. We talked, we smiled, we laughed, and then we parted and each walked, as separate couples, into the same movie theatre.
During the movie I was conscious of the possibility of another chance encounter; I could feel my inner being tensing up at the thought, which is a little ridiculous when I think of God’s faithfulness in all of my interactions. And, I suffer no lack of self-confidence with other people, yet there is within my subconscious fear regarding some of these interactions, particularly with people I don’t know that well yet.
But then, God gave me a thought: we all tend to be a little afraid of people.
We all tend to shy away from some relational and interactional situations. And it’s not just the introverted; the extroverted, of which I am one, also have their fears which drive all sorts of different avoidance behaviours.
The Blessing of Boldness with People
If we can safely acknowledge the fact that in some situations we will shrink from wanting to interact, and that it is fear deeper beneath that underpins this shrinking, we can train ourselves to be more conscious.
Being more conscious of our fears is a good thing, because we can ask God to help us enlist courage, and courage, deployed, never disappoints.
There is a blessing given to us when we are bold with people; when we act with enough self-confidence to willingly engage in a positive way. This is not about being gung ho, but it is very much about expressing interactional faith.
Strange as it seems, if we’re afraid of anything, chances are it will be a social thing; something surrounding relating with people.
We compromise ourselves too much for other people in seeking their approval. This is driven by a fear of rejection, because we need to be accepted. But other people are just like us, having similar fears. When we acknowledge but then work through our fear, we interact without the barriers that create social distance and harm intimacy.
Being unafraid of people in social situations is the best of all social blessings, for what it gives us: freedom to love people without being worried for how we’re performing or how they’re responding. Being unafraid means we interact in freedom to love.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.