Shyness and Timidity

David Brandt Berg


I was very shy when I was young, extremely shy. I was one of those little children that, when a stranger comes to the door, he runs and hides behind mother and holds on to her skirt. It’s something that you don’t learn; it’s just sort of inborn. I was so shy that it was almost a phobia or something. I was still very shy until I was about 19 years of age. All those years I knew the Lord and was a Christian, I believed the Bible and I had received Jesus as my Savior and I was telling others about Christ, but it was very hard for me, because I was extremely shy and bashful.

It wasn’t till I was 19 when I was filled with the Spirit that I lost the fear and the shyness, just overnight. I was anointed with such power of the Spirit, I really didn’t care what anybody thought then. Look at Peter. One night he was denying the Lord and running the other direction, and on the Day of Pentecost he stood up before thousands and testified boldly (Acts 2).

Immediately after this experience I was no longer worried about what people thought. It didn’t matter whether they thought I was good or bad, as long as I knew I was right and doing the right things and saying the right things. Then I became less self-conscious, I thought less about myself, and became more Christ-conscious. I kept my mind more on the Lord. I didn’t worry about how I looked or how bad I was or what a poor personality I had, I just thought about Jesus (Isaiah 26:3).

From that moment on, I never again feared a congregation or an audience. All I had to do was think, “Lord, this is Your business, You’ve got to help me. I’m Yours and it doesn’t matter what they think. You just do whatever You want to do.” And I just went ahead. I began being more honest with people then and didn’t care what they thought. I just gave them the Word and told them what I thought was right.

In a way, I think timidity and shyness is of the Enemy, because it is a form of fear. It’s a form of worry and a form of pride, basically. The fruit of timidity and shyness and over-bashfulness is not good. You’re afraid to be honest, you’re afraid to be open; sometimes you’re even afraid to tell the truth—even if for good motives, you’re afraid it will hurt somebody.

Shyness is a form of pride. It’s a combination of two things: fear and pride. You are afraid of what people will think about you. You fear the opinions of men (Ephesians 6:6–7; Proverbs 29:25). But the Bible says you’re not to be worried about the opinions of men, not to fear what men think about you or even what they say about you if you’re doing what you know is right. Of course, if you’re doing wrong, then you should be afraid.

Timidity, shyness, or bashfulness is basically fear, which is the opposite of faith. So to overcome fear, you must have more faith. The more faith in God you have, the more love of God you have and the more you know that you yourself are nothing, then you don’t have to be anything; you quit trying to be somebody. When we come to that point where we don’t care about trying so hard to be so good and better than others and we just sort of relax, we sort of find a rest and peace, we don’t worry about it anymore; this is faith.

You get faith from reading the Bible. Every word you read gives you more faith. “Faith comes by hearing the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Faith comes to you by hearing God’s Word, reading God’s Word. The more you read the Bible or hear the Word of God, the more faith you will have and the less fear you will have.

What you need to do is pray and ask God for more of His faith and more of His Spirit, and to confess, “I can’t do good, so why keep on worrying about it? God, You’ll have to make me good.” That’s the only thing that makes anyone good—God’s goodness. I think one of the best ways to overcome shyness in some ways is by going to the opposite extreme. So number one, get saved and filled with the Spirit and with the power of the Holy Spirit, be able and willing to tell the truth, and be honest and open.

I think the Lord, of course, is the main secret: Once you love the Lord and know He loves you and you’re willing to confess everything to Him, and then you’re willing to confess it to yourself, and finally you’re willing to confess it to others.

Has He freed you from the pride and self-consciousness of shyness and timidity? If not, receive the baptism of the power of His Spirit now and you will be. Hallelujah! And you’ll witness like you never witnessed before. God bless you. “Receive power” now (Acts 1:8).


Copyright © The Family International


Author: Frederick Olson

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.

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