Fear of Friendliness & VBS 2013

 

Balloons aren’t even tied! Blow up, wrap around dowel rod, and hook over end! Even non-crafty Carrie can do this!!!


Yesterday I went to Jefferson City, MO to the Missouri Baptist Convention Building for training for Association VBS Directors and DOMs (Director of Missions).

As I walked toward the doors, from quite a distance away, a woman entering before me stopped, held the door, and waited for me to get there.

“Good morning! How are you?” she greeted me.

Mind you, this wasn’t an employee. It was a conference attendee.

I hadn’t gotten far inside the building when yet another individual was looking me in the eye, “Good morning! How are you?” with a huge smile plastered on their face.

This may have been repeated at least three additional times before I got to the registration table. I did not know these people. They were not people I recognized from any time before.

Each one greeted me like a friend they hadn’t seen in a while. Each one appeared happy to see me.

It made me uncomfortable. It took all my social skills and some digging deep to be able to offer a smile back and say, “I’m well, thank you. And you?”

I hope I was smiling instead of wearing my ‘Why are you talking to me? I don’t know you.’ cocked eyebrow skeptical look.

As I was waiting in line to register, I thought, Wow. I really need to be more friendly.

Someone pointed out to me this past spring that people see themselves as a “to-do” item on my checklist. I deal with them simply so I can claim “Task done!” and move on to the next item on my list. I don’t see people as individuals, but as tasks to accomplish. Therefore, people don’t think I value them. Which in turn causes people not to respect me or like me.

It really hurt my feelings. Really.

I’m pretty certain this individual has even forgotten the conversation. I’ll never forget the conversation. It sent me spiraling down…down to places I didn’t want to go.

(I was REALLY going to talk about VBS and being friendly today. How’d I get here?)

I am a task-oriented individual. I like lists. I love to check things off my list. It’s who I am.

How many times do we say that?

“That’s just who I am. God made me this way.”

No. Free-will made me ‘this way’. I have chosen (dumb as it sounds) to separate myself from people because people have the ability to hurt me. So, I simply don’t engage on an emotional level.

Folks, this is NOT of God. This is sin.

If you are connecting with me here, if you are thinking to yourself ‘Finally! Someone who understands!’, I do. I truly, absolutely do. I struggle with this some days every MINUTE of the day.

I am afraid of the power people have over my emotional well-being.

And that is sin. (If you’re one of those people connecting, please don’t stop reading. Actually, please contact me personally!!!)

God is love.

God is not a God of fear.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

That fear I’m carrying around? God did NOT make me that way. He did not place that within me.

That fear I have of people is straight up from Satan. And I keep carrying it around with me. Like it’s a badge or something.

I have some false security that my FEAR of people will PROTECT me from people.

How crazy is that?

The rest of the scripture I gave above lists three things God DID give us:

*power

*love

*sound mind (self-discipline, self-control, wisdom)

I’m believing that the three things He did give us can totally vanquish the fear.

The verse above is the scripture for this year’s Lifeway Premier VBS Theme: Colossal Coaster World. The motto is “Facing Fear! Trusting God!”

I am thinking about doing a series on fear here on the blog. I’ve never tried a series before, but I think that one focused on fear might be a good thing to do.

Scripture has a lot to say about fear. Would any of you be interested in reading a series of posts rather than my daily ramblings?

Thank you for your feedback!!!