“To me, growing into spiritual maturity is becoming less self-conscious and more God-conscious.” ~ Mark Batterson
There is a lot of truth in today’s quote. The truth is that many people feel self-conscious as they begin their attempts at developing a deeper relationship with God. They are self-conscious in learning new prayer. They are self-conscious in sharing their faith with others. And they are definitely self-conscious when it comes to volunteering their time to help others in different ministries.
When we feel self-conscious, the most natural reaction is to quit doing the thing that makes us self-conscious. This would be a horrible mistake when it comes to maturing in the Spirit. If we do not continue the attempt to learn how to pray on a deeper level, if we quit volunteering to help others, if we drop out of ministries that place us front and center, we lose valuable opportunities for growth. Jesus calls us to come out of ourselves, to take the risk, so that we may develop and mature in his love.
So, how can we overcome our self-conscious feeling? As with anything else, start small, ensure success, and gradually move on to bigger things. We are not going to become the “perfect Christian” overnight. It will take years of work.
If we begin small — learning a different way to pray and using that while continuing our regular method of prayer, volunteering to help somewhere that would be very low-profile for us so as not to induce too much anxiety, and the like — and succeed at those small tasks, we can then add on slowly and simply. Before we know it, we will be doing things that we might have said earlier were impossible.
All the while, try not to focus too much on self. That is what makes us feel so self-conscious, so exposed. Instead, focus upon God in the various situations in which we find ourselves. For example, if someone feels self-conscious around others in a volunteer activity, think about the fact that God dwells in those other people and take the time to look for God. When you see God in the poor and the needy, the sick and shut-in, and others, it is easier to reach out to them knowing that you are reaching out to God.
FAITH ACTION: Don’t let feeling self-conscious keep you from drawing closer to God this day.