August 11, 2008

Exposing myself

Sharing my thoughts with others is so intimidating. When I start to speak or write, I feel as if I put in the spotlight, all eyes fixed on me. And I am afraid. I'm afraid that if I speak what I think, I'll show myself to be an imperceptive, juvenile child. I'll fail in front of those I want to impress.

I don't mind sharing my views on morality - those are clear to me and I usually know what is right - but it's my opinions that are the hardest to say. My first instinct is to blame others, and say that years of people disagreeing with me have caused me to remain silent, but I know that shouldn't deter me.

The first part of this issue is fear. But what is there to fear? God has not given us a spirit of fear! I should step out boldly, knowing that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

But compounded to that fear is my desire to look good in front of others. I've been wrong more times than I can count, and I don't like others to see my weakness and jump to a conclusion that I'm foolish and incompetent. But in my desire to let others see the "real me," unencumbered by my faults, I've actually only covered up who I really am. The "real me" is not an intelligent, witty, beautiful lady who never makes mistakes- it's a sinful human, who, by God's grace, attempts to bring beauty into a broken world.

God is my leader, and my goal should be to please him first. Even as I long for others' approval and attention, I know that earning those cannot be my focus.

However, as a debater, I desire to play the devil's advocate. Isn't there still a place for my desire for human approval?

I'd like you to give me your thoughts on a few questions:
  1. Why does fear exist?
  2. Is it beneficial to speak your mind even when you aren't quite sure of yourself, or would it be better to wait until you are reasonably certain?
  3. Can trying to please humans discipline you into a better person, or will it only teach you a wrong mentality of self-consciousness?


sehwoo said...

fear exists because sin exists.

"Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt"

living to please humans is just stupid. it can't (depending on whom you're pleasing) change you into a better person. but it would probably also do the latter as well

the ozed one said...

Proverbs 29:25 says: Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
You should not look to humanity to make you look good or lift you up. Visualize a group of people living among raw sewage. If one of them puts himself on a pedestal, does it make him any different from the rest? The only thing that matters is whether you "look good" to God. Don't try to hide your "true self" from others. It will only hurt you in the long run. Instead, be sincere about who you are. Granted, some people may not like you, but those that do will like *you*, and not an airbrushed image.

Art said...

Thanks for your thoughts! I'd like to encourage more discussion...

@ sehwoo: Isn't deciding not to speak because you don't want to show yourself to be a fool just an example of living to please humans?

@ the ozed one: You say some people may not like *me*- but how how *I* am supposed to act? Would you just say to follow my natural (sinful) instincts?

the ozed one said...

The problem is when you start acting. Again, be sincere in everything you do. Don't put on a fa├žade.
You should not follow sinful instincts either. Instead, if your life is on a Godly foundation, then your actions and opinions will conform to His. And if people hate you for conforming to Christ, then they're not worth being your friends.