If you’re not great in social settings, you’re not the only one. I recently attended a wedding with my husband, everything was great until he left me (for good reason) for about 10 minutes in a circle of about seven people. They were all talking about sports and traveling, and there I was, just hoping my husband would come back so he could do the talking. I smiled and laughed at some of their comments; they directed questions at me, to which I didn’t have much of a response except that I wasn’t a huge sports girl.
I realized I didn’t quite fit in their talking habits, and so my natural instinct is to just patiently be quiet and let others do the talking. You see, one of my fears is rejection. If I say something, I wonder, will it sound stupid to them? As crazy as it sounds, I thought my 26-year-old self was over this feeling, but apparently my inner eighth grade girl comes out from time to time. I was deeply reminded of Isaiah, and fell short of it.
“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.” —Isaiah 54:4
But, as the Bible tells us, courage doesn’t have to mean overcoming your fears.
So, the main inquiry, how can courage actually not look like conquering your fears? Without distorting courage, let’s take courage for how the Bible defines it. Courage is actually confidence. According to numerous stories in God’s Word, God commands His people to “fear not.” These two simple words hold so much power, and that is simply because they derive from God Himself.
“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’” —Isaiah 41:14
The reason I say courage doesn’t always look like conquering your fears is because so many people have the mindset that if they fear public speaking, for example, it means they must become a strong public speaker. No – if one fears public speaking, the courageous thing to do is to trust in God’s truths, plant them in your heart and in your soul, and reflect on them so that you can grow in confidence. It doesn’t mean you have to tremble and sweat on a stage in front of a 500 people.
One Step At A Time
For me, I help volunteer at a women’s rehabilitation center, where I get to just “be” and talk with women who have suffered a long walk of drugs and addiction. This allows me to give back while also working to be a little more courageous day by day.
I’m not going to profess that I’ve conquered my fears of rejection, but I will say I don’t quite fear it as much. I’m a work in progress, but I’m making progress by God’s strength and grace. In my own life, I’m not afraid to ask questions, talk and just relish in people’s company, because they are human, just like me.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” —Psalm 27:1
So, I encourage you to not only step out in faith, but do it confidently. Simply trust that there is not a day that goes by that God isn’t for you and doesn’t want to grow you that much more. God is so much stronger and mightier than our little fears, and there’s a good reason that He says simply, “fear not, beloved.”
You may also be interested in Weary Of Worrying? Let God Calm Your Fears