Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Have you ever been going about your life, minding your own business, thinking that you have become quite holy and that God must be practically finished with your redemption process, when--WHAM-O-- you are suddenly smacked in the face with the reality of how very far you have to go?

Not that that's ever happened to me.

Okay, it happens all the time.

Most recently, it went something like this:

I was in the midst of an e-mail exchange with a fan of my blog. Or rather, a person who reads my blog occasionally. Okay, someone who read it once. Anyways, I was quick to admit to said blog-reader that I read her blog every day. Which I do. But she would have no way of knowing that because I never ever comment on her blog. As I was explaining why I don't leave comments, I typed, "I don't ever comment because I am shy."

That's when I got the wake-up call.

Ring. Ring. Holy Spirit on line one.

"Yes, Lord?"

"What you have called 'shyness' I call 'pride,'" He said. I could hear the smile in His voice.

"What? No, no. I am not prideful, just a little shy. As in introverted, demure, humble."

Heavenly laughter. (Glad God finds me funny). "Jenn, you are steeped in pride, cunningly disguised as shyness."

"Really?" I asked, suddenly saddened, as the truth sunk in.

"Really. But I'm going to dig that pride out by the root. And plant my humility in its place."

"Thanks, Lord. And by the way, I agree with your assessment. I confess that I have been prideful by holding back from others, setting myself apart, and refraining from engaging. Thanks for your forgiveness. And thanks for your transforming power that will free me from the ugly clutches of my pride."

Does this stuff ever happen to you? It's like the curtain has been pulled back, and what I believed was a perfectly benign aspect of my personality is revealed to be a malignant disease on my soul.

But when I first tried to explain my new sin-cancer diagnosis to my family and a few close friends, I was met with confused, questioning looks. Most people don't equate shyness with pride. And I am not sure everyone should. I am certainly NOT saying that all shyness is pride, I am simply saying that MY shyness is pride.

So as much as I hate explaining myself, I would hate even more to be misunderstood. But when I spell this out you are all going to see how very shallow and depraved I really am. Try not to be too shocked and appalled.

Let's start with the digital level (this is so stupid it's embarrassing):

Why I am too "Shy" (Read: Prideful) to Comment on Blogs
by Jennifer Williamson

If I comment on another person's blog I have to admit that I am reading their writing. And as a writer who also has a competitive nature (don't tell me--that's pride, too?) I don't like it that other people have more popular blogs than I do. Yes, I know this is petty and stupid, but if I am going to deal with my shy/pride issue I have to deal with the true ugliness of my sin. So I don't want to admit to being a reader of a blog that is probably better written than mine, and prettier, and more insightful, yadda, yadda, yadda. Everytime I ever comment on a blog, I wrestle with this stuff. Pride. Pure and simple. Yuck

Now let's translate this to the real world (it's gonna get worse before it gets better!):

Why I am too "Shy" (read: Prideful) to Reach Out to Others
By Jennifer Williamson

In any given circumstance I am more concerned about what others think of me than I am about those others. Pa-the-tic. But true. I am much more comfortable (notice emphasis on MY comfort) watching others from a distance, observing, assessing, even judging. I am content to sit alone, content to keep to myself, content to watch from afar. The problem is my "shyness" motivates me to seek out my own comfort and contentedness rather than working for the interests of others. It spawns sins of omission. I sin in what I do not do. I do not look for opportunities to bless, encourage, or serve the needs of others. I sit in my quiet happy place, looking only to my own interests. Yuck.

Now all you shy people out there, resist the urge to jump to my defense. I am not going to go "extrovert" on you all sudden-like. I am simply going to set aside my "preferred" style of interaction and invite the Holy Spirit to have total dominion over that aspect of my life. I am confident that He will guide me in this process. I will no longer wear my shyness like a badge of honor; rather, I will yield to the Lord's leading, even if He asks me to go outside of my comfort zone. I think that's what it means to "die to self." And though that does not sound all that pleasant, I am absolutely certain that anything and everything done for the glory of God produces pure joy and ultimate fulfillment. I will never outgive God.

So I'll give Him everything.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4


  1. i TOTALLY understand what you are saying. i often read your blog and don't comment because you challenge me and admitting that would mean gasp! admitting my imperfection regularly to another person. well that and i don't want you to think i am a stalker. so thank you!!

  2. I know you are being serious, but this made me giggle just a bit ~~~

    #1 because I am an extrovert and LOVE to socialize with friends and even people I don't know.
    #2 It about kills my husband, who is the complete opposite of me, when I start to get curious and spark up conversations with pure strangers, lol. When you described your shyness- it was like I was hearing my husband described :O)

    and then the kicker....
    #3 I have just recently started up blogging again but have chose to remain anonymous! sort of ironic for me ~ not shyness though, perhaps I'll blog one day as to why I chose to not "name" myself in blogville some other time.

    I really enjoyed your honesty. Transparency somehow always makes for a better return than 'hiding' the truth.

    God bless you, I hope to visit sometime again :O)

    Ps- see, see how much I can talk! just look at the length of this comment!