I was looking at my About page earlier today, and I paused at something I’d said in describing myself:
And one more thing: I want to stand out from the crowd. I don’t want to be another one of “those” teenagers. Who’s with me?
Maybe it’s time clarify something. Saying “I want to be different” on my blog is easy. Doing it in real life…that’s a different story.
I have a good friend in my home school group. We have a lot in common: on top of both of us being home schooled, we’re Christians, we enjoy doing the same things, and we both love animals, to name a few. But we’re different in the fact that she is the most outgoing person I have ever met. That’s just not me, and I often catch myself envying her apparent ease when it comes to simple things like meeting new people and making conversation.
On the other hand, I fall into the “shy” and “quiet” category. When I’m with a group of people, I’m okay with just listening. I usually (depending on who I’m with) don’t feel a need to speak up, to be noticed. I’m comfortable with being quiet, but I don’t think people always get that. And then, when I’m just having a conversation with someone I don’t know very well, I find I’m so used to being quiet that I don’t know what to say. (Don’t get me wrong; catch me with a good friend and you’ll see me talking her ears off!)
The problem is, it’s almost impossible to stand out from the crowd when you’re quiet. If you’re shy, you won’t go for any of the opportunities to show yourself different from others.
I’m aware that this doesn’t apply to everyone. Maybe you’re outgoing, like my friend, or maybe you’re somewhere between that and being shy. But here’s where it does apply: Is there anything getting in the way of you being a Godly example for others? Most likely, your answer is yes, and it could be for any number of reasons. When something is in the way of where we are right now (like my being shy) and where God wants us to be, we need to adjust our lives so that we get to that place.
I’m not saying that God wants me to be just like my friend, but in the past, I have been so shy that it is just ridiculous. God made us to be unique, but He doesn’t want you to get into a place where you can’t further His kingdom.
I’ve been working on being less shy (with God’s help; it’s not something I can do on my own!) and I think I’ve made a little progress. I’m not an outgoing person–far from it!–but I’m starting to get more comfortable with meeting new people and just being myself with people I don’t know well.
What steps do you need to take to get from where you are to where God wants you to be? Pray for His guidance in taking those steps! It may not be the easy, popular, or convenient thing. Nevertheless, you need to be ready for the times when God will call you to do hard things!
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. (1 Timothy 4:12, 15)