I don’t get nervous in front of an audience. I just don’t. I know I haven’t always been that way, but for as long as I can remember, it doesn’t cause me anxiety. In college, I would drive my wife crazy. She would be nervous anticipating a test or a public speech while I could calmly handle either scenario without any fear.
Even today, when asked to speak, sing or give a public prayer at church, I don’t fret. I welcome the opportunity to serve God. My nerves are also calmed by the fact that as school teacher, I stand in front of a captive audience every day. I was asked once why I don’t get nervous at work or in service at worship. The person questioning me wanted to know how they could get ready for a speaking engagement of their own. My response to him was simple and it’s the same response if you’ve asked the same question. “Just be you!”
When it came time for Samuel to anoint a new king over Israel, the Lord had a very important reminder for him. He said, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). In our personal lives, in our worship time and in our times of stress and anxiety…just be you.
- Worship isn’t about outward appearance
- Your faith isn’t judged by your sense of style
- Prayer is from the heart and not words to impress others
- Enjoy intimacy with God, not just keeping up with tradition
- Don’t put on a show…just be real
Sadly, we’ve brought the world and its expectations into the house of God when we should be different than the world around us. Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18) and we experience that perfect love when we come into the presence of God. So just be yourself because it’s the you God created you to be.