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Eric's Sunday Sermon: Shyness, Insecurity, and Courage

Updated on March 18, 2018
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

We Must Let Our Beauty Shine Through

You need to give a little light to get a little light
You need to give a little light to get a little light | Source

The Elements

Shy

There was this fellow that to my understanding has performed probably nearly 20 thousand times. He was a big “star”. Now it is my further understanding that before many performances he would puke from nerves of shyness. Performers call it “stage fright”. Yet he is a legend and part of an even bigger legend of performing artists. His name is Ringo Starr.

Insecure

Now there was another fellow who for a time came upon great doubt in his belief. He literally retreated to a retreat to contemplate and of course pray. He was struggling with the intellectual part of being a Pastor. One could say the theological vs. the pure spiritual. He was bent toward the pure spiritual but associates chastised him enough to make him doubt. What we would call insecure. He faced that insecurity and arose where what is now called the “Witness Stone”. That would be Rev. Billy Graham.

Courage

Now it would seem that any real examination here reveals that the base problem is fear. Before I publish I have fear. Probably that gray area that is a combination of shyness and insecurity. That area where the two spheres overlap. And that is my boogey man. Charles Shultz was a pretty darn fine cartoonist. He seemingly confidently published thousands and thousands of the “Peanuts” series. He had lifelong fear of flying. But he made himself fly. He is credited with saying; “I know enough about fear to know if you give in to it, it grows. Pretty soon, I would be afraid to leave my house. Eventually, I couldn’t leave my room. We have to work against fear.”

Seems to me that what he is talking about is courage for courage’s sake. That may sound odd but if we think about it courage is a learned trait. It is almost like a muscle we must exercise to keep it in shape. Isn’t our brain really half organ and half muscle in the theoretical sense? But courage only works if the brain works in conjuncture with our spirit. There has never ever ever been a brave man who was not afraid. Without the fear there simply can be no bravery.

As with faith it is much the same. If one has never experienced doubt then the faith is empty. Otherwise what would the faith be? While we know worry yields us nothing it does do one thing, it requires us to “exercise” our faith. And yet as in all things both faith and courage must not be stagnant, it must continue to grow lest they become only a noun and never a verb.

Sometimes Love Requires Us To Overcome Our Insecurities

A Favorite

I just love to get up and watch this sunrise.
I just love to get up and watch this sunrise. | Source

Responsibility

It would seem that we often learn as much if not more by teaching something than by studying it. For a recovering Bible Thumper as myself I found I learned far more preparing a sermon than I did studying the Bible for the sake of “knowing” it. And then the delivery and then weaving in the questions we want the parishioner to ask themselves. Every spiritual endeavor or relationship is fully personal. While our love is fully intertwined with all others that connection to the love/God needs to be as though we pray in a closet. If the relationship between a worshipper and the earthly leader is only one of accepting what the leader says as truth then the leader has failed.

It is cool to note here that Jesus taught in parables mainly. Requiring the students to “think” for themselves. Of course the Socratic method and even the Dharma do much the same. It seems to me that if a school teacher tells the child what to think it boxes in the child and does not really exercise her brain.

What does this have to do with shyness, insecurity and courage you may be wondering. The point is that if we know something it takes courage to overcome these things in order to have the confidence to teach. Not so far as arrogance for sure. And here is the real courage for those who teach and preach. One must be confident enough to include the direction to question the teacher. Again we see Jesus best at this, Socrates and Buddha close seconds.

Their faith and courage must be strong enough along with their wisdom to invite rigorous examination of what they say to be true. And very importantly they must maintain the constant courage to allow themselves to be corrected and taught themselves.

A strong point here is that our courageous teachers very likely have some shyness and insecurity in their knowledge. But they face that fear and have the courage to overcome it. As with any artist, athlete or academic what we speak of here is not some take it or leave it deal. When we have something to share we have absolutely no right not to share it due to insecurity or shyness. That is unacceptable in a world where good is sorely need to overcome the bad. In short we have a duty to be courageous, to face the demons and overcome. We must let our light shine lest we waste a gift from our creator.

Such Beauty In Nature, We Are A Part Of Nature

Who can be brave?
Who can be brave? | Source

You Cannot Give Back You Mantle

Courage Without Love?

As discussed above I find that teaching is perhaps the best teacher. So is often my want I relate some moments of learning by teaching a youth and the reflections of an elder son. So they have these large elementary school circles outside. Awards are given. Some citizenship stuff but mainly academic achievement awards. Yes isn’t that cool that at our school they have winners and not just everybody gets to “tie”. Well needless to say the boy is an overachiever. But he runs out to get his award really weird like. So of course I asked him about that. The answer as expected was basically that he was too shy in front of the whole school. I tried to explain to him that being weird like that made everyone look at him more. That made sense to him. And he changed that behavior.

But then the hard part popped up at an opportune time. You know the drill, we relate how afraid he was to dive off the diving board but when he finally did it was fun. Same for diving into the waves, same for bike riding, blah blah blah. Then a perfect example of fear effecting us. He related that sometimes he wished he did not get the awards so that he would not have to go “out there”.

Isn’t that us big kids? Isn’t that me? Self-sabotage at it’s finest. The phrase “Lord take this mantle from me”. Sticks in my mind. The song above “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” if looked at in this light fits.

Something to think about here is that kind of braggadocios, bullying type arrogance. We see it. I railed against those people for years. I would challenge and “shout” them down. I would dislike them and probably I even gossiped about them behind their backs. Folks that seem to think the more repetitions and volume would make their opinions right and others wrong. I would use my sharp tongue and wit to “win” against them. And you can imagine this in the world of lawyers where I once resided. This I confess is true.

Until one day somehow, someway I realized it was just their maladaptive way of overcoming the fear of shyness and insecurity.

Let us try to overcome these fears with a courage born of love.

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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      So true Lawrence. I suppose I am lucky. As a small child I was a full on scaredy cat. So I had a lot of lessons about getting over it. Oh and PS I am waiting for a good quiet stretch of time - to indulge myself with "Showtime".

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      7 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      A person who doesn't know what fear is isn't really courageous! But one who admits to the fear, and overcomes it, that's what true courage really is.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Nikki thank you very much. I so enjoy relating things about our wonderful lives.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      8 months ago from London

      Great sermon Eric, shyness can be overcome by lots of courage to get through hard times.Thanks for teaching some beautiful things of this world.Bless you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Of all the explanations I heard Denise Humility is courage to learn.

      Especially in our spiritual journey of love. God needs us humble to accept the Word.

      Thank you for your support always. When people I respect so much comment it lifts me up.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      8 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      It is interesting to me that it takes courage to be corrected. I had never thought about it that way before. I always thought that it took stupidity to be corrected! I am corrected because I made a mistake, therefore, I must not be "good enough!" What you are saying here is "they must maintain the constant courage to allow themselves to be corrected and taught themselves." In order for us to really learn, we need the faith to allow ourselves to be in the presence of those who know more than we, therefore, the need for courage. Thanks for this revelation!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Larry. I was popular in school. I even was a class president. But now I am a kind of recluse. Because I do not like socializing as it seems awkward to me, a kind of shyness. But I am just fine writing here on HP. Strange concepts these are.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 

      8 months ago from Raleigh

      I always love what you say in your sermons, Eric. It allows me to think back in my life. I was very shy in school. I never had the courage to ask a girl for a date. It was a fear that I could not overcome because of my insecurity. I am now friends with several of those girls. I met many at our 50 year high school reunion two years ago. Now I think back and wonder why I was so shy and insecure. I am just glad that now I am more outspoken and had the courage to become a writer of 4 novels and many short stories here. I have so many good friends now.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Dora, this one was written because I really am having to deal with it, with my son. It is a slow, easy does it process.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      8 months ago from The Caribbean

      "While we know worry yields us nothing it does do one thing, it requires us to 'exercise' our faith." So we should embrace our fear and move forward. Good message. Good examples and illustrations.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda you make a good point about humility. I suppose the line being between lack of arrogance and self doubt is sometimes blurry. Healthy pride is one thing whereas vainglory is another.

      Thank you for bringing that up.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Elijah I like the distinctions you make. We certainly do not say "the lad is in fear of the dark" and we do not say "the noise feared him". And the common parlance of fear creates confusion for many regarding God. We are not scared by God. Fear is the correct term there.

      And your definition using the learning part is so valid, we must learn fear. Hence we can "unlearn it".

      But I think probably we all understand the use of the word fear when discussing it in overcoming. Good stuff, thanks.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      8 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, the examples that you presented at the start of this sermon, of Ringo Starr and Billy Graham--I wonder if what we view as stage fright or insecurity is, in reality, a lack of arrogance? That would be a good thing, would it not?

      If we approach our daily lives, our interactions with others with the understanding that we do not "know it all" but will be guided in love, then we can go forward with confidence.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      8 months ago from Washington DC

      The Elements

      My first thought for you today is your use of "fear" which has the meaning of "to approach with cautious learning' since "the fear of god is the beginning of wisdom" is written. How can being afraid or scared of "god" bring one wisdom? [Your use under "Courage" is the correct usage, fear opens one up to the highest level of observing while proceeding.] IT CAN'T so I'm suggesting you use "Scared" or "Afraid" meaning "to shut down all faculties except defense's," rather than fear. Food for thought as I continue to read.

      Responsibility

      I fully concur. When one is "Afraid" or "Scared" of being proven incorrect they will never open themselves up to being questioned. I Was asked to preach for the first three weeks after leaving my job for a minister who was going to leave the church on me [Spirit had a different plan] and rather than preach I invited the 6 member who attended the first week to ask questions concerning things they had about the Bible. Each week showed an increase in attendees.

      Courage Without Love?

      As a matter of fact, Eric, I found al of your usages of "Fear" to be appropriate all the way through so I'll add here that "Fear is the Courage to Love" whereas if you had used "afraid" or "scared" it would have shown "combat readiness without learning."

      Aloha

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Devika. I hope your comment inspires others to at least try and do as you. Avoiding meeting new people as a result of shy is so sad.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill my bride Hang is my rock in this regard. She orders that things be done and there is no use in arguing, so I do it! LoL

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Chitrangada Sharan you are so right. I do the self analysis but I think it is not always honest. I tend toward the negative.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Frank I really appreciate you always leaving me uplifting encouragement it helps me overcome my insecurities. How often can you use "maladaptive" in a sentence? LoL

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      8 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I was shy and didn't think I would overcome that. I am no longer shy and enjoy meeting people. Thanks for sharing your insights on such important factors.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll be speaking to a large group this Thursday about the farmers market....to do so is painful for this shy introvert, but it is necessary....courage and a lot of encouragement by Bev get me through.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      8 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Wonderful words of wisdom, in your insightful hub!

      Overcoming shyness, insecurity, fear and so on, is so important. First of all we must identify the symptoms, and then conquer them. An honest Self analysis is important for our self realisation and positive development of mind and soul.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      8 months ago

      encouraging.. but most of your sermons point us in that direction... maladaptive way of overcoming fear et al... I like that line.. it stares me in the face until I blink...LOL

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks John. I just love it when that happens. When something just out of the blue meshes with our needs at a certain time. I think in your case much of that has to do with your life perspective of good.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Manatita. Your points a well taken and a great addition here.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      8 months ago from Queensland Australia

      What a wonderful message, Eric, and one I sorely needed. Thank you so much my friend for sharing just what I need at the perfect time.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      8 months ago from london

      Very big subjects, fear and insecurity. I mentioned them recently as the by-products of the five cardinal vices that I was talking about: Anger, lust, greed, ego and attachments. Remember? Then I did a piece on Fear, Cantata 1 and 2. Remember? So your whole Hub is very meaningful and right up my street.

      I was really touched by the first video on Love. Again it's stuff that we all know, but I could not help thinking that perhaps you may now take a more humane view on Tetsui, the Kamikaze Pilot.

      No, we do not need to like the deed. Indeed we abhor or detest it, but we can say, like Christ, that our enemies are also worthy of our Love, even if they are Samaritans. As they are also candles of the Divine.

      Both fear and insecurity help us, but again, they can be a lot to carry and in doing so, become burdens. Hence I looked at them two different ways.

      Your Hub is an inspirational piece and now its about time to let it speak for itself. Let us all learn what we can, take what we need and move on. Praise be!

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