Are You Shy?


I found myself on a singles discussion board the other day, reading an OP (original post) from a young man who shared the following:

I am male. I am single. I’ve always been shy, but I’ve improved. I’ve gotten to where I can actually talk to beautiful women.

However, there’s one particular woman in the Singles group at church who is extremely beautiful, and manages to turn my brain into mush. If I try to talk to her, I end up saying/doing something stupid. Any suggestions?

While I can relate to his situation, I think we’re harmed by using the innocuous word “shy.” Such a term is not biblical, and so biblical counsel on how to overcome “shyness” can’t be found, leaving this man with little hope.

The biblical term for this feeling of insecurity is “fear of man” — an anxiety about what others will think of you if you say or do something. The “antidote” for fear of man, now that we’ve identified the term, is simple: fear God instead. Consider the dangers of “fear of man”:

The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe. (Proverbs 29:25)

Now consider the rewards of “fear of God”:

Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the LORD. (Psalm 128:4)

The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6)

When Scripture speaks of fearing God, it’s encouraging us to value God’s opinion of us rather than the mere opinions of “beautiful women” and other people. If God is leading you to say or do something, then when you say or do those things, you are the recipient of His favor. No reason to fear man when the Lord is smiling on you. After all, when the Lord is on your side, what can man do to you?

My advice to the young man struggling with fear of man? I’d encourage him to change his mind about fear, risk rejection, and not disregard the “normal” looking girls in his circle of friends.

Let me encourage you to reconsider the “shyness” that might be evident in your own life. Instead of claiming that you can’t say or do something because you’re “shy,” confess that you’re “fearing man” and pray that the Lord change your heart to instead fear Him. And He will reward your faithfulness.


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