Once again I headed out to the streets to share the Word of God in one form or the other. On this particular day it was raining really hard almost the whole day. My options were limited so I took a stack of tracts and my umbrella and stood by a main road where the traffic tended to jam up. When a jeepney (public transportation vehicle) would come by and stop in front of me; I would give a tract to the person sitting on the passenger side of the open-air vehicle. Because of the bad weather, I didn’t stay out very long. Yet it was a good time of distributing tracts.
As often is the case, people stared at me as I stood there beside the road. And, as usual, I felt very shy in standing in front of all the people. I had to push myself to get out to the road and give out tracts. It wasn’t easy for me to do. The truth is I am very shy person. I am an introvert and don’t have a very outgoing personality. Going out and sharing the Gospel does not come natural to me. I would prefer to sit by myself and read a book. I am content being alone in my room. Yet God has called me to be a missionary and to go and share the Gospel with people in the Philippines and other places. My shyness has to take a back seat to the calling God has given me. I can not use being shy as an excuse to neglect the will of God.
I have been shy for as long I can remember; from the time I started kindergarten until I graduated from Dodge County High School in 1983. I wasn’t given any awards when I graduated, but if there was a recognition given to “Least Likely To Become a Missionary” then I probably would have received that honor. Along with being a “weekend drunkard” I was also probably one of the shyest people in the whole school. I didn’t attend the school prom my junior and senior year because I was too shy to ask any girl to go with me. I would get nervous anytime I had to get up in front of class or a group of people.
During my first year of college I became a Christian and my life was radically changed. Yet, having Christ in my life did not cause my shyness to just disappear. I had to overcome my shyness by the power of God. In 1991 I was ordained into the Gospel ministry and was pastor of a church in Dodge County. Yet I still remained shy. I used to literally memorize my entire sermons in order to overcome the shyness that I experienced when preaching.
It has now been over 25 years since I first became a Christian and over 18 years since I have been in full time ministry; yet I still battle shyness. I have to daily overcome shyness by the power of God. My being shy will not disappear. It is built into my personality. Yet the power of God is greater than my personality and hence I have been enabled to share the Gospel with others and preach to crowds of people.
The reason I share these personal things with you is because I know there are probably a lot of shy, introvert type people reading this column. Friends, don’t use your shyness as an excuse for disobeying God. Sometimes folks never do anything for God because they are too shy. But friends, through the power of God, shyness can be overcome! The shyness might not ever really leave you; but God’s power will give you victory over it. I know this from personal experience and what God has done for me; He will also do for you. Amen!