2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Everyone feels nervous from time to time and in certain situations. Timidity or shyness, though, is different. It makes us feel uncomfortable, self-conscious, scared, nervous, and insecure around others and in certain social situations. When people feel shy they hold back saying and doing things because they are concerned about how others might respond. It can vary in degrees of intensity from mild to extreme and even develop into more severe social phobias. Our God has not given us a spirit of fear (shyness/timidity) 2 Timothy 1:7. It is not our nature as new creations in Christ Jesus to be timid.
The root cause to shyness is fear. More specifically it can be from one of three main fears: the fear of rejection or disapproval; the fear of reproach (being shamed, discredited, or criticized); the fear of being negatively judged.
1. THE FEAR OF REJECTION OR DISAPPROVAL.
Proverb 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
It is basing one’s acceptance on the opinions and approval of others. It is a manifestation of the fear of man Proverb 29:25 speaks of that brings a snare. It is surrendering to others power and control over how we view ourselves. This fear of disapproval causes us to draw back, avoid, or cow down. Remember though that Jesus as our Substitute took our place of rejection on the Cross Isaiah 53:3.
2. THE FEAR OF REPROACH (being shamed, discredited, or criticized).
Isaiah 51:7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
Reproach means to shame, disgrace, discredit, or blame (or to be negatively talked about). Revile is to accuse of and blame for a fault so as to make one feel ashamed; to call bad names or use abusive language about. It can be a part of the fear of being persecuted. Jesus said we are blessed when persecuted, reproached, or reviled when it is for righteousness sake Matthew 5:11, 12; Luke 6:12.
3. FEAR OF BEING NEGATIVELY JUDGED.
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn (declare to be wrong). This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
1 Corinthians 4:3, 4But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
Shy people imagine that others are constantly evaluating their performance; watching them and expect them to harbor critical thoughts about them. This creates self-consciousness and super-sensitivity to the looks, words, and evaluations from others; it also creates avoidance of eye contact and drawing attention to ourselves. The Prophet Isaiah said it is a weapon formed against you called “…tongues rising against you in judgment…,” Isaiah 54:17.
The Apostle Paul addressed it in 1 Corinthians 4:3,4. He was not indifferent to human judgment but feared God’s judgment more. We are to handle negative judgments with humility and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
Realize shyness is not our new nature 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Timothy 1:7 but a part of the old man we are to put off Ephesians 4:22-24. It is not an enduring personality trait, temperament, or character flaw. Shyness is not who we are but something we feel while we do the things we do. There is nothing wrong with being more reserved or quiet. Many people who are viewed as shy can be quiet due to preference, training, or choice. What appears as shyness can be someone who has inner peace that shows up outwardly in quietness and calmness. This is good if it comes from inner peace and only bad if it comes from inner anxiety and fear. Allow your heart to be established in the truth of your acceptance and approval in Christ Ephesians 1:6.