The picture for this post definitely portray what would have been my worst nightmare not too long ago. Being trapped on an island with a whole bunch of people. No where to escape. Tons of small talk to participate in. Ugh. My personal hell.
Thankfully God has bought me a very long way from then. I have struggled with social anxiety for as long as I have been social. It stinks. It keeps us from the community we need and crave and it buries us in fear and anxiety until we have isolated ourselves and built walls to protect us from unseen threats.
Luckily the Bible is full of verses straight from God that will motivate you to move and empower you to live free from the chains of fear and anxiety.
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.
This is one of those verses that I like to try and avoid. Luckily the Holy Spirit within me doesn’t allow such nonsense. I have a history of being a total isolator. I am a natural homebody and I am not ashamed of that fact. I love being at home in comfy clothes reading or working on this blog. I am very introverted. I need quiet time to charge. I like my space. I also struggle with the lie that I am not wanted or I am not very important to anyone. I find it difficult to believe that people actually like me sometimes. If you are like me then I know how you feel.
Isolating yourself comes naturally but you have to know that it is very destructive and it is selfish. We isolate ourselves to protect ourselves out of fear. You NEED to be in a community. You NEED to surround yourself and be in fellowship with fellow believers. You NEED good and godly people around you to thrive in this life.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
There is a major key in this scripture passage. In humility, consider others as more significant than yourself. Humility is so hard to walk in. Usually because pride is so blinding. You may be wondering what pride has to do with this. Maybe you’re thinking, “I am not prideful. I think I am terrible, no good, pathetic, better off alone, or insert some other random self depreciating thought.” You are still thinking of you too much. Then fear comes in and the duo persuade you to avoid people all together.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
This is such a VBS/Sunday school verse but it’s soon good. These are the characteristics of love. God is love and His Spirit is at work in all believers. If you are a believer you are already victorious over fear and anxiety. To walk in that victory you have to retrain you mind to see yourself as free from fear. A great thing to remember is that love counts others as more important.
If we really lived like we believed that others were more important than ourselves we would go and be with others even when we are feeling frightened and anxious. We could go anyway because we know that the people are worth it.
The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.
We are capable of drawing out the deep things from others. Are you aware that most people struggle from social anxiety to some degree. Everyone is afraid, even the loud and obnoxious people we tend to avoid. Every one has struggles and you have the experience to help tons of people. God has equipped you with purpose. Avoiding social setting only robs you of the joy of having influence and being able to help others.
Helping others and focusing on their problems is a great way for you to overcome your own.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I know it is hard to overcome social anxiety. Trust me, I know. We are not alone though. God is here to carry our heavy burdens. I find people to be quite tiring. Luckily God is also our rest.
I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
God is our strength. He WILL help us. He will strengthen us. He knows our struggles and He is pulling us through and empowering us to live free. He is our deliver and our shield. Remember who our enemy is. Remember who the source of fear is. God is helping us to overcome.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near
Awesome things happen when we get around other believers and begin to work through life together. The Bible says it like iron sharpening iron. We get together with our brother and sisters and we begin to stir each other up. If we all count the others as more important than ourselves then everyone will get taken care of and heard. Go out and be an encouragement today and watch as you are encouraged by pouring into others.
Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
Unity is great because everyone is important and everyone has something to add. You have purpose. The body of Christ needs you and your circle of community needs you.
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ
There is something about caring for and carrying the burdens of others that just makes your own load seem smaller. It restores your trust that yours will also be taken care of you because God love you.
I hope you’ll jot these verses down and really meditate and think on them often. I also hope you’ll share this with your friends and followers so we can reach more people with this message. If this helped you, I would love to hear about it. You can reach out in the comments below or by clicking the contact button above. Make sure that you are a part of our growing and thriving community. I send out encouragement just like this as well as occasional updates, offers and freebies weekly!
Thank you guys for reading,