Confessions of a shy girl

You scare me. You know that? Yep, you people freak me out. I’m sure you don’t like me, or you think I’m goofy looking or that my clothes are weird. I’m a shy girl. I think everyone is potentially mean and I’m afraid of mean. Most of life I’ve been surrounded by mean girls. So I’ve learned to protect myself by avoidance. Hence, the shy thing.

But shy doesn’t win, not when faith trumps doubt. My nature is to be shy, to fear man, to avoid people all together and to hide out at home, but my nature is sinful, corrupt, and selfish. And my shyness turned tail and ran when I started to realize that it was a sin. My sin was that I put more importance on myself, my feelings, my fear, my failure, than on my God. I made life all about me, instead of all about him. Ugh! What a mess!

I confess that I’m self-obsessed. I worry about what you think about me, but thanks be to God who not only forgives me for that sin, but redeems me from it, giving me a new life for my old one. Setting me free to love you no matter what I might think you might think of me, and to talk to you, even if it scares me. The new life that God promises in 2 Corinthians 5:17, where he says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come,” that’s the stuff of bravery. That’s the stuff that allows me to say no to my nature, and yes to His.

I am so thankful that my shyness is sin, because sin is something that Christ did away with on the cross. (see Colossians 2:14-15) It’s something that no longer has control over me, and while I’ve allowed it to have some control for a lot a years, now I’m wiser, and I know I don’t have to do that. Because sin will not be my master, because I am not under law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)

Have you read Romans 6? Have you seen what you can be set free from? Everything, every sin that controls you. Take a look:

count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6:11-14

What sin are you letting rule your life? Are you shy? Do you fear? How about worry? Got any? When did sin become acceptable as just a part of your personality? Will you join me in showing sin the door and letting righteousness take up residence in your life?

Hi, I’m Hayley and I’m a sinner, saved not only for heaven, but from the bondage and slavery to my sin, what’s your name?


9 comments on “Confessions of a shy girl

  1. Yeah, I feel like adding condemnation to people that are already probably really hard on themselves isn’t the best idea! *sigh* Look, some people are shy, some people are outgoing. I don’t think your personality type is sinful. OBVIOUSLY, being self-centered is sinful, but I’ve known MANY loud, crazy, must be the center of attention people who were super self-centered as well. And some of the people I know who have a deep meaningful relationship with God, are definitely “shy” at first glance. As someone who was SUPER shy growing up, I feel like this article would have just made me feel even worse about myself…I think as Christians we need to be careful with our words.

    • You are right Sarah, super outgoing people have just as much trouble with self-centeredness as shy people, but that doesn’t prove that self-centeredness, because of its abundance, is acceptable in the life of faith.

      But let me speak to the condemnation. I want everyone to be clear, condemnation is not from God. Romans 8:1 assures that, “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ.” Condemnation, that feeling of guilt, is from Satan and meant to dissuade God’s people from taking the freedom that is theirs in Christ. (see 2 Cor 7:10-11) Many a struggle is held onto out of feelings of guilt. Christ died to set us free from guilt and the power of sin. You stop the conversation with a hand in the face of grace when you say “don’t tell me that my problems were nailed to the cross, mine are too much, too hard to overcome. Let me be condemned.”

      When any sin is spotted in our lives, to wallow in feelings of guilt is to reject God’s gift of forgiveness and freedom because it keeps us from the simple act of confession (see 1 John 1:9) and instead covets the ‘struggle’ that is ‘natural’ to our personality. My shyness, if it is obeyed over God’s command to love others, is an idol that has replaced God and is calling the shots in my life. That is not freedom, that is slavery. But the believer is no longer a slave to sin, so why would we hold on so tightly to those things that keep us from freedom? And that’s where we get back to self-centeredness. As long as self takes center stage, habitual sin will reign in our lives. Shy will never be overcome, nor any other personality issue, because self-obessesion is idolatry of self and self has no power to overcome sin, only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do that.

  2. Love the encouragement of this article: “Will you join me in showing sin the door and letting righteousness take up residence in your life?”

    Yes! I needed this. And I agree with Sarah, that loud extroverts seem totally self centered at times, but the self centeredness to be noticed doesn’t excuse the self centeredness of worry and fear of man.

    Challenging post!

  3. I can understand Sarah’s point on how it could seem discouraging. Being shy and being quiet/ introverted are different though. The difference is that shyness is rooted in fear, at least that’s what I’ve realized from my experience with it. “My sin was that I put more importance on myself, my feelings, my fear, my failure, than on my God.” That’s not how I want to live life.

    Thanks for this post! As Betsy said, it is challenging.

  4. …Interesting take. I’ve long held onto my aversion to social contact as a crucial defense mechanism in light of my complete absence of the social instincts most people are born with–that is, making small talk with me is somewhat like asking a random person off the street to solve a continuous series of calculus problems all within short spaces of time. I’ve realized, though, that it is also a very personal reaction to feedback. The times I do something other than smile and nod, no matter what I do end up saying, I always get that, “Are you rude or just stoned?!” look, or else a 30-minute impromptu counseling session that takes many hours of solitude and a lot of aggravated violence toward inanimate objects to recover from. So…yes, I have been living in fear cloaked in Romans 12:18. But I must also confess that I LITERALLY cannot imagine the alternative. What would that look like? What would Violet minus shyness do and what would her life be like? (Would she still maintain similarities to me in other dimensions? Would she still be able to see the world from the same point of view?)

    Amusing note: Two people aside from myself have prayed for healing of my temperament and actually listened for feedback. In both cases the answer was an earthshaking, “I gave her a special mind to fulfill a special purpose,” which made me wonder why no one had listened to /me/ when I made similar claims about my spiritual-neuropsychological state.
    (I DO sound self-centered, don’t I? Apologies.)

  5. Thanks Hayley for this post. So challenging. It made me reflect on the many years I wasted in the “fear of man”. I denied myself so much, and I robbed others of the opportunity to get to know me. For reasons I won’t go into, I had learned from a young age to approach life from a rejected stance. It took my hero – my husband, my best friend – to awaken me to the truth with his loving, patient and sometimes confrontational challenges. Choosing to let go of this sin was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I have so many precious people in my life because of it. Thank you Jesus for winning my freedom:)

  6. Yes, Haley, I will join you in showing sin the door and letting the righteousness of God prevail in my life! Shyness for me has been easy to hide behind other quality traits; quiet, easygoing. The bottom line for me, however, was that it is sin against a Holy God. I have allowed this sin to control me for many years (I am 47). Thank you so much for your boldness and encouragement! I can now join you in saying that I am glad it is sin, because my precious Lord Jesus Christ has done away with it for me! Praise Him!!!

  7. wow i love the GODGIRL book it has been a life changing experience thank you for the book even thou i wish i had it long before.but anyway i guess it will help thank you a lot.

  8. Hi Hayley,

    Let me share with you that I am also shy and christian and I used to feel very uncomfortable about sharing the gospel with other people. In the process of trying to be free from shyness I made the wrong decision of leaving the church. I regret that I did not seek counsel from the pastors on this issue because in the world shy people face the danger of falling in a net of abusive relationships. From my experience shy people should never date or marry someone who are just the opposite (extroverts). At the end of the day you will find out that your inner character traits such as loyalty and faithfulness are not being shared at all with extroverts.

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