Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Billy Graham: Time to Change?

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I go to church regularly, but I’m very shy so I never talk to anyone or try to make friends. I wish I wasn’t this way. Why didn’t God make me friendly and outgoing, like other people? — L.J.
I can relate with being shy. I've always been rather introverted and guarded. That said, I don't think that one is necessarily not friendly even though they aren't outgoing. I'd consider myself friendly, and when I'm comfortable with someone I'm just like anyone else. I start out shy (even more predominantly in the past), and if you're interesting enough that I want to get to know you, I will. Shyness isn't about not wanting to 'get out there'. It's more about not feeling able to for whatever reason.

Sure, being shy can lead to awkward small talk. But it also means that the relationships you do have will be much closer and meaningful to you than most of the other relationships that more outgoing people have. But be warned. That closeness can hurt much deeper should things go south.
DEAR L.J.: We’re all different — from different faces to different personalities — and as I’ve sometimes said, the world would certainly be boring if we were all exactly alike! I don’t know why God made us this way, but he did, and he loves us in spite of our differences.
So basically, "God made you that way, and he knows what he was doing so you better embrace it"? That's not exactly the way I would have worded that sentiment, but I can go with the general idea. I feel that far too many people are hung up on being like someone else. So much so that we may lose sight of what makes us uniquely special. That's not to say that change should be avoided though. Sometimes change can be quite good.
Instead of spending all your energy wishing you were someone else, ask God to help you become the person he wants you to be. To put it another way, God doesn’t want you to remain withdrawn and friendless; not only will you hurt yourself, but you’ll also hurt others by never reaching out to help and encourage them.

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Instead, he wants to help you, little by little, to overcome your shyness and enjoy the company of others.

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Wait, wait wait! First he said that God made LJ just how he intended him to be, then he tells him to ask God to help him become who God wants him to be... Well, which is it!? Did God make him how he's supposed to be, or didn't he? I realize asking this question of a person who follows a book that is flowing deep in contradictions is a folly of a task, but ask I must. So which is it Billy?

-Brain Hulk

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