The Genuine Article – Cure for a Case of Nerves
Key Bible Verse: “Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it!” – Jeremiah 45:5
Bonus Reading: Psalm 131:1-3
When I do public speaking, I am working with notes from familiar material. But the morning of my first program taping for Focus on the Family—heard by millions—the thought hit me, What if I get asked an unexpected question and freeze?
Taking refuge from a bad case of nerves in the restroom outside the studio, I started pacing in front of the sinks. Finally God’s voice broke through: “This is so not about you.”
As I listened to God’s voice—inaudible, but unmistakable—I realized that my nerves came from my pride. I wanted to make a good impression, to be the thought-provoking, entertaining type of guest Focus would want to ask back. But God wasn’t as concerned about me that day as he was about reaching families with the message contained in my book, Sacred Marriage. I heard a clear call to focus on those struggling because of a faulty understanding of Christian marriage. Once I did, the nervousness dissipated like my daughter’s beloved soap bubbles. It was just gone.
God’s words, “This is so not about you,” remain one of the most precious gifts my heavenly Father has ever given me.
—Gary Thomas in The Beautiful Fight
My Response: I’ll ask God to help me focus on being his servant rather than on making an impression.
Thought to Apply: He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. —John the Baptist
Adapted from The Beautiful Fight (Zondervan, 2007)