Fear of Being Undignified

Why do I often suppress the warm sentiments in my heart? Maybe I fear that I will be thought of as silly, or maybe the impression is far from mutual.  It’s easier and safer to stay inside my shell.

During my “best” week of the monthly hormonal cycle, I am more likely to shower people with appreciation and affection.  Sometimes I later feel ridiculous, ignored or rejected.  I started practicing holding back and letting the feelings wane. 

A few months ago, a new friend entered my life – or at least I thought of her as such. During my best week, I drafted an email expressing my appreciation for God bringing her into my life and the encouragement she offered as we raised teenage daughters.  However, I decided to sit on the draft for a couple days to see if I thought it was silly a couple days later.  Sure enough, my heart chilled and I did not want to take the risk of exposing myself. 

What did I miss? The following month, I sent a much milder form of appreciation along with a matter of business.  She sent me a gushing response that left me feeling incredibly blessed. 

This morning, I took an impulsive, tentative, yet tiny leap to express a thought on my heart to a fellow co-worker and my prayers for his family.  As a result, I learned how God is dramatically working in his and his wife’s life.  A rush of memories of a time in my life when God called me to radical change flooded my soul (the 4th echo this week – a subject for a separate posting!).  Hearing the passion to follow hard after Jesus re-ignited the fire in my heart, too.

By protecting myself inside the cocoon, what have I been missing? Pain? Blessing? Both? Is the risk worth it?

Michal chastised David for his indignity, and his response was “…I will celebrate before the Lord.  I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” (2 Samuel 6:21-22).  He exposed the affection of His heart in worship to God, and was ridiculed by his wife in return.  Yet, to him, it was worth the price.  And God was delighted.

How often have I chosen sensibility and dignity over expressing my heart? Is protecting my ego from rejection or humiliation worth the cost of missing out on being used by God and allowing His goodness to be displayed? 

How much pain am I willing to risk?  Fear is one of my worst enemies.

Oh, how I want to become even more undignified than this! 

6 comments:

  1. I think you have been reading my mind. I have these exact same thoughts! I finally decided to not suppress my sentiments regardless of how others receive them.

    Thanks for sharing your heart!

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  2. I understand your ambivalance, I too have started a blog and wanted to share it but its still in draft. Be encouraged to share the softer renewed side of you no matter how we may feel embarrassed or open to criticism

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  3. Perfect love cast out fear,there is nothing wrong in showing your feelings to people; and if they reject it, they are rejecting the Christ in you. It is not undignified to show love, however withholding good to our fellow mankind when it is in the power of our hand to do it is what is shameful as a beleiver:)

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  4. You have written about things pressing on my heart also...when you are writing from your own heart. I appreciate the book reviews, but it is in your sharing that I see you. Although I just recently found your blog, at times I have even wondered if your posting of book reviews was a way of guarding your heart. Sometimes we do need to pull back and seek solitude in the wilderness, communion with God alone, even Jesus did this, but I also an quite concern the risk is worth not staying there for any longer than you need to revitalize yourself for God has need of you to speak to hearts of others.

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  5. My comment got messed up in an edit. I meant to write "I also am quite certain the risk is worth not staying there for any longer..."

    That is what happens when I am over tired as I was earlier.

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  6. I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God bless, Lloyd

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