Isn’t being bold the same as being obnoxious?

People don’t believe me when I tell them I’m shy. I’m introverted, yes, but that doesn’t automatically mean I’m shy. And in most circumstances when I’m around people, I’m only in places where I’m very comfortable. When I’m comfortable, I can come off like a total extrovert.

But that’s not who I really am. I’m the quiet one in the corner who likes to get my bearings before I jump into anything. I like to gauge a crowd, a room, a speaker before I answer a question or put up my hand for a comment. But even then, even after I’ve taken the time to get to a place where I’m not terrified, I still feel an urge to stay quiet. There’s always a voice in the back of my mind that tells me nobody needs to hear what I have to say and that if I walk up to someone to talk to them, I’ll just be interrupting. Or I’ll bother them.

But is that the way we’re supposed to live? Believing things like that about ourselves? Isn’t that humility? Or is it lies the enemy whispers to keep us silent when we really ought to speak up?

mountains-nature-sky-sunnyToday’s verse is 2 Corinthians 3:12.

Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.

What does it mean to be bold? Is boldness synonymous with being obnoxious? That’s how I usually identify boldness. Being bold means you’re prideful or you’re full of yourself or you’re irritating.

But, correct me if I’m wrong, I’m pretty sure God isn’t okay with any of those character traits. So if God isn’t okay with any of that, how can we be bold if that’s what it means?

Easy answer, that’s not what it means. Being bold is being confident, and, sure, you can be confident in a wrong way. You can let your confidence become pride, or because you’re overly confident you can rub people the wrong way. But true boldness has very little to do with focusing on yourself.

What this verse is talking about is the boldness we have as Christ-followers. It’s probably referring specifically to how we can approach Christ with our troubles, that we can just go to Him whenever we need Him. That’s audacity. To approach the King of Heaven and ask a favor? Crazy talk. But I like to think that this verse is talking about more than just our prayer life.

Because of what Jesus did for us, we can be bold in everything we do. We don’t have to be timid and fearful. We don’t have to crumble whenever someone challenges us. We don’t have to hunker down and squeeze our eyes shut because someone disagrees with us. And, no, we don’t even have to stay quiet because we are shy.

We can live boldly because our confidence is in Jesus. Christ gave His life for us so that we could live abundantly. So what are we afraid of? Why are we hiding in the shadows? Sure, I dislike the spotlight, and I don’t like talking to people I don’t know. But when God has put me in a situation where I need to talk to people, the last thing I should be doing is sitting alone at a table scribbling notes.

I’m shy. I’m an introvert. I’m absolutely terrified to start up a conversation with someone I don’t know. Those are the lies Satan wants me to believe about myself, and it’s high time that I stopped listening to him.

What are you hiding from? What are you afraid to do, even though God’s told you to do it? Stop running. Stop believing the lies, and face those fears the enemy has planted in your heart. God has a plan for you, and it’s awesome. It’s time to get bold.

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Courage while you wait

Today’s verse is Psalm 27:14.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
      Be brave and courageous.
      Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

The Amplified Version says it this way:

14Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

I have blogged before on waiting with patience and waiting confidently. But I’ve never really noticed this until today. This verse says to wait for God to do what He’s going to do, but it gives us something to do while we wait.

Be brave. Be courageous.

I’ve never seen that before. To me, that means we are to be brave and courageous when we face life. Because what is more uncertain? And what’s scarier? And what is more painful than life?

We are to wait patiently for God. We can’t rush Him. We can’t convince Him to move faster. God has a certain timeline and a specific plan that He’s working out, and we don’t have access to why. We have Scripture which can tell us all about His motivation, but it won’t tell us specifically what He’s doing. Just that it’s good.

What do you do when all you can do is wait?

Be brave as you go to work. Be brave as you go to school. Be brave as you stay home. Be brave as you clean your house or take care of your family or hang out with your friends.

When you’re scared and uncertain, don’t shut down or run away. When you’ve lost everything, keep going. When you’re sad and discouraged, don’t give up hope. And don’t give up on God. And don’t deceive yourself (or let Satan deceive you) that God isn’t doing anything in your life.

God is always working.

Courage has always been defined to me as action in spite of fear. We are to be courageous. We are to act when we are afraid. We are to move when we are uncertain. We are to do when we don’t feel like it.

Waiting is a part of life. And waiting on God is the larger part of a Christian life. Because God has to work out the kinks in us before He lets us continue doing what He’s called us to do.

The hardest part of waiting is not knowing. At least, it’s the hardest part for me. Because I don’t know what I’m supposed to do all the time. And I don’t know where God is going to put me tomorrow. And I don’t know what He’s going to want me to say. And I don’t know if I will always be here or if I will always be on my own or if He’s going to pick me up and move me.

And I’m such a control freak that I have convinced myself that knowing for sure would be better for me. But it wouldn’t be better. By letting God have control of that part of my life, I have to trust Him. And for a control freak, learning how to trust is the most important part of being a Christian.

So I’m waiting.

And even though there are days when I’m afraid, and even though just about every day I face uncertainty, I’m not called to sit around. I’m called to be active. I’m called to do things. I’m called to face the day with courage, not meaning that I shouldn’t be scared. I’m human. I’m going to be afraid of things I don’t understand. But just because I’m afraid doesn’t mean I have to shut down. All it means, is that I have to put my faith in God and trust that He will give me the strength to carry on.