Every once in a while, I'll drive off in our car and I'll feel this strange lurching sensation. You see, my wife is big on using the emergency brake, and she will often remember to put it on. I will often forget to put it on. It's just not part of my car starting ritual to turn off the emergency brake because I don't usually engage it. So here I am driving off with the brake on and lurching all around. It is a good idea to release the brake. It is hard to go the speed you want when the brake is holding you back.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have "A Word With You" today about "Driving With Your Brakes On."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Philippians chapter 2, verse 4. I want to read it through a particular filter, one that comes from the struggle of a lot of people I know. It's a struggle with, lets call it, shyness. A feeling of not being able to really let out my feelings, being timid. Some people have that feeling all the time. Most of us, some time or another, feel that feeling of shyness. It's like driving with your brake on. There are so many quiet people, timid, shy people who are like buried treasure. Maybe you're like that. You have got so much to say and give and contribute, but it's buried and you just can't seem to release it. Philippians chapter 2 verse 4, our word for today from the Word of God, says this, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Paul's advice here is humility in action. It is really focusing on the interests of other people and not just being self-focused.
Now you might think offhand that a person who is shy or timid is really not thinking much about themselves, but actually the research shows that that's the problem. They're really preoccupied with how people are going to react, and what kind of impression they're going to make, whether they'll get a good response or not. This hits a central issue of social timidness -- we tend to be thinking too much about ourselves. Paralysis comes when I am focused on me. Emotional freedom comes when I'm focused on you.
Willie Davis played for the great coach Vince Lombardi. When Vince Lombardi was dying in a New York hospital, Willie Davis came all the way across the country to see him in his hospital room. Reporters were saying, "Willie, why did you come all this way?". And he really didn't want to talk. He only spent 15 minutes with his dying coach but he came out and he said, "Because that man made me feel important".
I wonder if people say that about you. It's easy to do. You get people talking about their favorite subject - themselves. Ask them about their family, their background, or their position, their interests, their weekend plans, something. And you look for clues that you can talk to them about. Look for a photo that they got or a pin that they wear, or a comment they make. Ask several questions. You don't have to be informed about what they are interested in, you just have to be interested in it. Find out areas that you can relate to and share your experience there. You have a conversation going then because you're focusing on them. You see, really confident people can be overpowered and intimidated. God needs some quiet, sensible people who will speak up to make other people feel important. You need to be running full speed ahead on making a difference for Christ in people's lives. It's a good idea to release the brake that's holding you back - preoccupation with yourself. Try a new agenda. How are you making the other person feel? Like, important.