—By Father David
—Dad's answer to a question about shyness from Sergio‚ a Tenerife fish.
1. I WAS VERY SHY WHEN I WAS YOUNG‚ EXTREMELY SHY, I was one of those little children that when a stranger comes to the door he runs & hides behind mother & holds onto her skirt. When I was nine years old they gave me a surprise birthday party. I came home from school, I came to the front door of the house & it was sort of dark inside. All of a sudden they turned on the lights & about 50 kids jumped up & said, "Surprise! Happy Birthday!"—I turned around & ran out the door & they never saw me for the rest of the day! I went off & hid all day, I was so shy, so very very timid, very shy.
2. EVEN WHEN I WAS IN GRAMMAR SCHOOL & HIGH SCHOOL I was always very very extremely bashful, timid & shy, especially about girls. Oh! I was afraid of girls! I thought they were wonderful, beautiful, angels—I know it now—but I was so timid & shy! I loved the girls but I was afraid to touch one, almost afraid, once or twice I did. My little girl cousin & I had a lot of fun when we were about seven years of age because she was my cousin & I knew her very well, & she was also a very precocious little girl!
3. BUT SERIOUSLY, I WAS STILL VERY SHY UNTIL I WAS ABOUT 19 YEARS OF AGE! All those years I knew the Lord & was a Christian, I believed in God & the Bible & Christ & I had received Jesus as my Saviour & I was telling others about Christ‚ but it was very hard for me because I was extremely shy & bashful. I even sometimes had to speak & give a speech in church to some groups of young people & it was very hard for me. I'd work on that speech & I would write everything down & I would get up & speak, but it was difficult because I was very shy.
4. NOW THIS MAY SHOCK YOU BUT SHYNESS IS A FORM OF PRIDE! Because what is shyness, bashfulness & timidity? It's a combination of two things—fear & pride! You are afraid of what people think about you. You are worried about their opinions of you. Well, really this is partly pride because you're concerned, as the Bible says, with the opinions of men. You fear the opinions of men. (Eph.6:6,7; Pro.29:25.)
5. THE BIBLE SAYS YOU'RE NOT TO BE WORRIED ABOUT THE OPINIONS OF MEN, not to fear what men think about you or even what they say about you if you're doing what you know is right. Of course if you're doing wrong then you should be afraid! I felt I was doing what was right but I was still very self-conscious—conscious of myself & what people thought of me & their opinions.
6. I HAD A TERRIBLE INFERIORITY COMPLEX & I felt lower & less than others. I was very thin, in Mexico they call it "muy chaco," very thin & skinny & I didn't even want my picture taken! So it's really a concern of what people think about you because you think you are too thin or you are too ugly or you think you have a bad personality or you think they don't like what you say, you're worried.
7. IN SOME WAYS IT'S GOOD BECAUSE YOU ARE CONCERNED‚ you want to be well though of, you want people to like you, & you want them to think you're good. You don't want them to think bad of you & you want people to like you, you want people to love you, but you're always afraid that they don't because you think you're ugly, or as I thought‚ I though I was thin‚ I thought I was ugly—& I think I was really—& I thought I didn't have a very pleasant personality because it was very hard for me to talk to people, believe it or not.
8. YOU'D NEVER THINK IT NOW, WOULD YOU, I TALK ALL THE TIME! But it was very hard for me to talk to people. I didn't like parties, I didn't like to go where there were people, I didn't like to be with people at all, I liked people but I was afraid to be with them because I was so self-conscious, conscious of myself & worrying about what they thought about me.
9. SO I LIKED VERY MUCH TO BE ALONE IN THOSE DAYS. Now I'm just the opposite. I'm seldom ever alone anymore, in fact I'm really never alone‚ but then I loved to be alone, always alone. I would walk in the woods & climb the mountains & climb trees. Once I built a little platform or tree house, a house way up in the tree, & I would climb up there & read books. I was reading all the Tarzan books by Edgar Rice Bourroughs. I read about 20 of those books & I sat up in this tree & read them all‚ I was going to be Tarzan!
10. TARZAN WAS A KIND OF A LONER, A LONE WOLF, so I liked him because he was sort of like me. Tarzan liked to be out in the jungle alone with the animals & the birds & the flowers & the trees & the bees & I liked that. I'm telling you this to show you that I was much like you, at least like you say that you are. I don't see that you are really because you have a very pleasing personality & you're very good-looking & you always get along well with people so I don't know why you have this feeling!
11. SO ALL THOSE YEARS WHEN I WAS YOUNG & A TEENAGER I WAS VERY SHY, but when I was 19 I prayed very earnestly that I would have more of God's Spirit, more of the Spirit of God, & I asked His to give me the Holy Spirit. Now in Acts 1:8 Jesus said to His disciples, "Wait for My Spirit to come to help you‚ then ye shall be witnesses unto Me throughout all the Earth!" So it was sort of like the power of God to give you more faith & more courage. When you have more faith, you have more boldness & more courage, more faith to trust God.
12. TIMIDITY, SHYNESS & BASHFULNESS IS BASICALLY FEAR WHICH IS THE OPPOSITE OF FAITH. So to over-come fear you must have more faith. The more faith you have in God or even in yourself or in something, you will have less fear, but particularly in God because He gives faith like a gift, He gives you faith.
13. AND IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS EXPERIENCE I HAD IN WHICH I RECEIVED MORE OF GOD'S SPIRIT I WAS NO LONGER WORRIED ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT. I had a boldness‚ a sort of a fearlessness, a greater courage, which I think was God given. It didn't matter whether they thought I was good or bad, as long as I knew I was right & doing the right things & saying the right things. As long as I knew I was in the Will of God. I was doing God's Will, then the Spirit of God gave me this boldness.
14. JUST LIKE YOU READ IN THE BOOK OF ACTS in the Bible about when the disciples on the Day of Pentecost were filled with His Spirit‚ & they stood up boldly & they preached to the people! The same Peter who had been so afraid when Jesus was under arrest that he denied Jesus three times & was even afraid of a little girl who said, "Oh I know you, you're one of them!" And he cursed & swore & said I'm not! (Mt.26:69-70; Ac.2.)
15. WHEN JESUS WAS ARRESTED, PETER CUT OFF THE SOLDIER'S EAR, but then after that they all forsook Him & fled, they ran! So Peter was afraid, & although he followed to find out what was going to happen to Jesus, he went to the prison & stayed outside in the courtyard & he was afraid. But now suddenly filled with the Spirit of God, this same Peter is a very courageous bold man who preaches fearlessly to the multitudes of people!
16. MY ANSWERS SOMETIMES ARE A LITTLE LONG because you have to understand the problem. Just like a doctor, if you don't diagnose the case, how are you going to prescribe the cure or the medicine? So basically, Sergio, timidity‚ bashfulness & shyness is fear mixed with a little pride. You're afraid of what people will say & think of you.
17. A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF THIS IS ALL RIGHT, we should be concerned about what people think of us, we should like to be well thought of. But if on the other hand we know we are right, doing right, speaking right, we shouldn't worry if people don't think well of us if we know we're right. If I know I'm right it doesn't matter what she thinks, really. I would like her to love me‚ I would like her to like me, but if I'm doing the right thing & she does not like me, I can't help that! Its not my fault.
18. SO I WOULD SAY THE CURE IS FAITH, STRONG FAITH IN GOD! Then I became less self-conscious‚ I thought less about myself, & I became more Christ-conscious‚ I kept my mind more on the Lord‚ I didn't worry about how I looked or how bad I was or what a poor personality I had, I just thought about Jesus & I thought about God & as Isaiah says, "Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee." (Is.26:3.)
19. SO IF YOU THINK ABOUT GOD & YOU THINK ABOUT JESUS & YOU REMEMBER HOW MUCH THEY LOVE YOU & how much they care for you, you think less of yourself, it doesn't matter. You know you're a sinner, you've been bad, we're still bad sometimes, nobody's perfect, everybody makes mistakes, right? But you know that the Bible says everybody else is the same‚ everybody makes mistakes too, everybody else is a sinner.
20. HE SAYS "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS"—NOBODY'S GOOD—"NO NOT ONE!" (Rom.3:12,23.) So all this time you're feeling sorry for yourself thinking "I'm so bad, I'm so this, I'm so that & I have an inferiority complex." Well, you read the Bible & you find out everybody else is bad too‚ so you're not any worse than anybody else, they're all sinners!
21. IN FACT JESUS EVEN SAID OF THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF HIS DAY THEY ALSO WERE SINNERS, but of course they didn't know it. He said the drunks & the harlots & the publicans & the sinners were going to get into Heaven before these Scribes & Pharisees! (Mt.21:31.)
22. IT ALMOST MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER TO KNOW YOU'RE BAD, to know you're not good, because God said so‚ nobody's good! The worst kind of people in the World are the self-righteous hypocrites who pretend to be good & think they're good, you know, "holier-than-thou," They look down on everybody else, they are so holy. "Oh, I'm better than you!" Jesus said that's the worst kind of people, because this is what they call self-righteousness.
23. ISAIAH SAID, "YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS," IN THE EYES OF GOD, in the nostrils of God too‚ "is as menstruous rags!"—Like a woman's Kotex, literally, is what Isaiah was saying! (Isa.64:6.) Your righteousness, man's own righteousness, self-righteousness, man's own goodness, in other words himself trying to be good. He says it stinks to God it stinks like a woman's Kotex! That's how bad he made it sound.
24. THE KING JAMES VERSION USES THE EXPRESSION "YOUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS IS AS FILTHY RAGS." But when I studied in the original in Hebrew it says literally that your righteousness, your goodness, is like menstruous rags. Now that's how God looks on the so-called "good" people. I mean people who pride themselves on being better than others: "I'm good, I don't do this, I don't do that, I don't do so-&-so!"
25. I REMEMBER MY FIRST WIFE WAS TALKING TO ONE OF THESE SELF-RIGHTEOUS MEN, good church man in some kind of holiness church & he was talking‚ priding himself on all the things he didn't do: "I don't smoke, I don't play cards, I don't drink‚ I don't dance, I don't run around with women, I don't do this, I don't do that!" She said, "Oh, that's very interesting, your religion I guess consists of what you don't do! It is a religion of don'ts, all the things you don't do! What do you do?"—Ha!
26. SO THAT'S HOW GOD LOOKS AT OUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS!—And we need to finally just give up trying to be good ourselves & admit "I'm just not good, I'm bad, I'm a sinner, of course I make mistakes!" Everybody else is just as bad & no worse than you are & no better really. That's what Jesus came for was to teach us that nobody could keep the law of God, no one, so salvation had to be a gift. It had to be not justice but it had to be mercy & love.
27. SO JESUS CAME & HE TALKED TO THE SCRIBES & PHARISEES, these self–righteous men, these holier-than-thou men‚ these men who were too good to even go through Samaria, they'd make a long detour around those bad people of Samaria. They would not touch an evil person & they condemned Jesus for letting this former harlot wash his feet.
28. THE PHARISEES SAID, "AH, IF HE KNEW WHAT KIND OF WOMAN THAT IS HE WOULDN'T LET HER TOUCH HIM!" Jesus turned around & said, "I came to your house for dinner & you didn't treat Me like a real guest, you didn't have someone wash My feet. Behold, she hath washed My feet with her tears & dried them with her own hair! Unto whom much hath been forgiven the same loveth much." So what He was telling this church leader was, she is better than you are. It was like slapping him in the face, but it was the truth! (Lk.7:36-50.)
29. THAT IS THE GREATEST OF ALL SINS, SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, that holier-than-thou attitude, that self-goodness. God hates this worse than any thing because there is no goodness except God! God is the only one who is good & God hates for people to pretend they are good because God knows they're all bad.
30. EVERYBODY'S BAD EXCEPT THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH & HAVE THE GOODNESS OF GOD, the love of God & the righteousness of God. Any other righteousness, He said‚ man's righteousness‚ your own righteousness, your own goodness is as menstruous rags! In other words, God said if you don't have His goodness which is true goodness, true holiness, real love, real mercy, you have nothing, even worse than nothing! You're a filthy rag!
31. ALL OF THIS HAS TO DO WITH FAITH! All this is my answer to your question about timidity. The more faith you have‚ the more love you have, the more faith in God you have, the more love of God you have & the more you know that you yourself are nothing, then you don't have to be anything, you quit trying to be somebody.
32. IT'S LIKE THE OLD MAID: They asked her one day, "How come now you're always so peaceful & you seem now to be happy when before you were always upset & nervous & worried?" She said, "I've quit struggling." She quit worrying about getting a husband, "I quit struggling." When you stop worrying about being good, if you have God's goodness, He Will make you good enough for Him, when you stop worrying about what people think about you.
33. IT'S LIKE THE STORY OF SAINT DOMINIC: He came into this town & he was preaching the Gospel & they grabbed him & the were going to kill him. They had false witnesses paid to testify against him & they accused him. They said, "You're a thief!" He said, "Yes, I am." They said, "You're a liar!" He said "Yes, I have been a liar too!" "You're a bad wicked man!" "Yes‚ it's true!"
34. ALL THE THINGS THEY ACCUSED HIM OF HE SAID, "THAT'S TRUE!" I'm very bad, wicked, I'm a sinner, all these things." "You deserve to die!" He said‚ "Yes‚ I do!" But he said, "God has forgiven me because Jesus died for me. I'm all these bad things, I would be even this & worse except for God & His goodness!"
35. SO WHEN WE COME TO THAT POINT WHERE WE DON'T CARE ABOUT TRYING SO HARD TO BE SO GOOD & better than others & do this, do this, don't do that, don't do that, & we just sort of relax, we sort of find a rest & peace, we don't worry about it anymore, this is faith.
36. WE KNOW, WELL, OF COURSE I'M NOT GOOD, of course I'm not perfect, of course I'm not beautiful, of course I'm not any of these things, so what! God is good, God is perfect, He's beautiful & that's enough for me! As long as I have God & I have Jesus I'm happy & I have love & I have peace, I have joy, & that's the answer, the more faith you have!
37. AND YOU GET FAITH FROM READING THE BIBLE. Every word you read gives you more faith as you read the Word. "Faith comes by hearing the Word of God," the Apostle Paul says in Romans 10:17. Faith comes to you by hearing God's Word, reading God's Word, or even right now hearing God's Word from me. It strengthens your faith‚ it gives you more faith. So the more you read the Bible or hear the Words of God, the more faith you will have, then the less fear you will have!
38. THE MORE YOU HEAR THE WORD THE MORE HUMILITY YOU WILL HAVE, then the less pride you will have & you won't worry about what people think‚ & also then the more love you will have for others. You literally become more concerned about other people & about God & His will & pleasing God & trying to help & please people. When you become more concerned about this than about yourself, less self-conscious, more God-conscious, this is a part of the cure!
39. FROM THAT TIME ON, AFTER I WAS 19, I BECAME SO BOLD & SO COURAGEOUS, the timid little shy little boy who had been so shy & so timid‚ I was not afraid to stand up in a crowd on the street corner or at the Fair & preach to thousands of people where you were not supposed to preach! Or sometimes in the churches when the preacher said something wrong against the Bible I would stand up & challenge it! I've been thrown out of many churches for this!
40. I COULDN'T STAND TO HEAR THEM LYING FROM THE PULPIT AGAINST THE SCRIPTURE! I would stand up & say‚ "Now wait, look here! In the Bible it says this! What are you saying!" Two ushers picked me up & carried me out! So I became very bold, very unafraid! I didn't care what they would do then, I didn't care if they killed me‚ I was telling them the truth!
41. I WAS THROWN OUT OF MANY CHURCHES FOR THIS. I didn't go in there deliberately to do anything, but I would sit & listen & then they would say things that were not true & were contradictory to the Bible. I knew the Bible very very well & a Scripture would come to me that was against what they were saying & I knew that it was not true. I would try to do it very nicely & say, "Excuse me, Sir, but perhaps you haven't read this particular Scripture, maybe you don't know that that's not so." Whew!
42. I NEVER FOUND ONE PREACHER YET WHO APPRECIATED MY CORRECTING THEM! They all either told me to sit down & shut up or get out or they sent a couple of men of carry me out! Sometimes they called the police! I'm a pretty mild little boy now, I'm a pretty good boy‚ I haven't caused any trouble for a long time! Ha! But my writings sometimes cause a little trouble because I tell the truth, & a lot of people don't like the truth.
43. BUT YOU SEE, IT WAS THE POWER OF GOD WHICH DID IT IN MY HEART THAT CHANGED ME from being very shy‚ very bashful, very fearful, inferiority complex, worried about what people thought, wanted to be always alone, it was the Spirit of God really which changed me!
44. WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IS PRAY & ASK GOD FOR MORE OF HIS FAITH & MORE OF HIS SPIRIT & TO CONFESS, well, I can't do good so why keep on worrying about it? God, You'll have to make me good! That's the only thing that makes anyone good is God's goodness. As much as we have His love, His mercy & His goodness‚ then this is all right. But our own goodness stinks, this is what God doesn't like. Because nobody in the World is good except for God.
45. I THINK ONE REASON THE PEOPLE ON THIS ISLAND ARE SO MUCH BETTER THAN MOST OF THE PEOPLE WE MEET IN THE WORLD—friendly, courteous, more loving, more kind, happier—I think because they have more faith! I think they have a simple personal faith in God. We have met lots of people here who don't have much faith in the church, but they have a lot of faith in God. They still believe in God.
46. MANY HAVE LOST FAITH IN THE CHURCH. Why? I don't know! But that's their business! Like me, I did the same! But they love God, they have faith in Christ & they love others. They're courteous, kind, good to others, they have the goodness of God & they have the love of God. I think here they have more faith, more love, more mercy & more goodness of God & this is why they're so much happier, better people, much better people.
47. WELL‚ THAT WAS A LONG ANSWER BUT THAT'S THE TRUTH! After that I went many places. I remember at the great New York World's Fair some years back, the first one that occurred back in the '40s I think it was, they had a telephone exhibit where they were demonstrating for the first time these new wire recorders. The first recorders were not tape recorders but they used wires.
48. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WERE STANDING AROUND THIS PLATFORM, & to demonstrate they would have you come up & say a few words & then they would play it back. So I got a brilliant idea‚ I was about 20 or 21, & I got up & they said, "Say anything you want to!"
49. THERE WERE AT LEAST 3,000 PEOPLE STANDING AROUND & there were hundreds waiting in line who wanted to do this. It was something new to record your voice & then hear yourself & everybody wants to hear themselves. So I got up & they said, "All right, now it's your turn" & they held the microphone to me & I began to sing about Jesus! Ha! They let me sing one verse & one chorus. It was a song that went like this:
50. "I KNOW A NAME THAT IS GREATER THAN ALL OTHERS,
I know a Name that is greater than them all!
I know a Name from which comfort I can borrow
When others fail & my tears of anguish fall.
I know a Name..."
—Imagine I'm singing to thousands of people & they don't know who I'm talking about yet—
"A wonderful Name,
That wonderful Name is Jesus!"
That was the last word!
51. "THAT'S ENOUGH," THEY SAID TO ME‚ "CUT IT OFF!" Ha! They turned me off quick when they heard the Name Jesus, because there were many people running the fair who didn't like Jesus. So God led me to pick that song because it said nothing about God & nothing about Jesus until you got to the last word, so they didn't cut me off until I'd said Jesus!
52. I WAS JUST TELLING YOU THAT TO SHOW YOU HOW GOD GAVE ME SO MUCH MORE BOLDNESS & MUCH LESS FEAR & COURAGE to do things that I would never have thought of doing before. If I had done that before God gave me more faith & more of His Spirit, I think I would have died of fright! I think I would have had heart failure‚ I would have been so frightened to even stand up before so many people!
53. YOU KNOW SOME PEOPLE HAVE WHAT'S CALLED MIKE-FRIGHT‚ you stick a microphone in their face & they're speechless, their mind goes blank, they can't think of anything to say! They also call it stage–fright. Some people get on a platform before many people & they sometimes get so frightened they forget everything they were going to say. They maybe memorised the speech & they forget it, or memorised the song & they forget it, so it's a fear.
54. SO GOD GAVE ME A GREAT DEAL OF BOLDNESS & COURAGE AFTER THAT, & the answer is faith & this comes through reading the Bible! When you have faith you'll have more love for God & more kindness, more mercy, greater courage‚ greater boldness‚ so that makes you happier. Then Sergio will not worry anymore about what people think. Sergio will not be afraid of opinions of men. (Sergio: I am very much afraid all the time.) Well, the more faith you have the less fear.
55. (SERGIO: I FEEL LIKE PEOPLE ARE LAUGHING AT ME ALL THE TIME, THEY FIND ME VERY FUNNY.) No‚ it's not true. See, this is a lie of the Devil! The Devil tells you lies in your mind & he tells you things that are not true. But when you have faith, then you know the Devil is a liar & when bad thoughts come to your mind you know it's the Devil speaking so you just say "I resist you, Satan, in Jesus' name! I resist you!" Because God's Word says if we resist the Enemy he'll flee from us!
56. IN OTHER WORDS, ONCE YOU KNOW THAT THESE THOUGHTS ARE THE VOICE OF SATAN, once you know they are the thoughts of the Devil‚ then you brush them aside. "I won't listen to you! I'm not going to listen to a liar! That's not true, these are lies! They're not laughing at me, they love me, they never laugh at me!" (Sergio: Many words tempt.) His biggest temptations are lies.
57. (SERGIO: I KNEW A MAN WHO WAS TRYING TO CONCENTRATE, TO STUDY, & whenever he was studying he felt like going to church to pray & then realised it was the Devil. Do you think the Devil would tempt anybody in that way?) Yes, I think there's perhaps a time to go to church but there's also a time to pray, there's a time to study, there's a time for everything.
58. OH, I THINK HE TEMPTS SOME PEOPLE TO GO TO CHURCH ALL THE TIME. They think that's doing something for God to be in church all the time, whereas they need to be out perhaps helping someone else, perhaps visiting the sick, or visiting the prison or helping the poor.
59. THIS IS THE ATTITUDE OF MOST CHURCH PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES THAT GOING TO CHURCH IS ENOUGH, that's their religion‚ to go to church. The least religious go maybe once a week, once a month, maybe once a year. The more religious go maybe every day‚ every morning to mass or something & they think this is religion. But this is not the most important thing.
60. THIS WORSHIP & PRAYER IS A PART OF RELIGION, BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING JESUS SAID WAS TO LOVE GOD & TO LOVE OTHERS. He said you are to help the poor & to visit the sick & in prison & to show kindness & love to others & that's religion, not just going to church. Going to church can be a part of religion, going to church can be a part of your time of worship or prayer perhaps. I don't need it because I can pray anywhere & I can worship God everyday, all day, all the time! I don't have to be in a certain building to do it.
61. YES, YOU CAN EVEN BE TEMPTED SOMETIMES WITH GOOD THINGS. If the Devil can't make you do bad things, he will tempt you to do something good which is not the best thing when you could do something better. Like maybe he will tempt you to go to church instead of feeding the poor. He may tempt you to do something which is very good but it's not what God wants you to do.
62. IF THE DEVIL CANNOT MAKE YOU DO EVIL‚ if he cannot even keep you from serving God, he will try to keep you from doing the best thing or better things. There was a famous English orator in the House of Commons & one of my mother's heroes, & she used to tell the story that once he was on his way into Parliament to deliver a very important speech. His name will come back to me when I think about it. Memory is a wonderful thing‚ you send the little messenger boy to go down inside to get it out of the storeroom & pretty soon he pops up when you don't expect it! (William Gladstone!)
63. HE & HIS SECRETARY WERE JUST GOING UP THE STEPS OF PARLIAMENT WHEN A LITTLE NEWSBOY STOPPED HIM, a little paperboy. He said, "Mr. Minister, you know the little newsboy who usually sells you the papers here, the one who sells you the newspaper here everyday when you come up the steps to go to Parliament?" He said, "Yes‚ where is he?" He said, "Well, yesterday he was run over by a carriage & he's very sick & he's very badly injured & I think he's going to die, & he wants to come & get him in."
64. NOW THIS PARTICULAR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT WAS FAMOUS FOR BEING & CHRISTIAN, a man of God‚ & he was always talking to the little newsboy about Jesus when he would talk to him as he went by, like we do, we always talk about Jesus & the love of God & the Bible & about Heaven & he apparently knew that he knew somehow to be saved so he could go to Heaven.
65. SO THE LITTLE BOY SAID, "HE WANTS YOU TO COME GET HIM IN!" The Minister said, "What do you mean get him in?" He said, "You know, get him into Heaven! He's dying!" And his secretary‚ knowing the Minister so well, said‚ "No, no, no, you can't do that! You know how important this speech is! Maybe it will change the course of history, the course of England! You cannot take time to go & see that little dying newsboy!"
66. HE STOOD & THOUGHT A MOMENT & SAID, "ONE IMMORTAL SOUL IS WORTH MORE THAN MY SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT." So he went to see the newsboy & he prayed for him. He knelt down in his little garret, this little room where he was dying on a little mat in the corner where they had laid him out there all crushed, apparently he couldn't eve go to the hospital or something. And he told him about Jesus & prayed for him & got him in, & right while he was there he died.
67. AND THEN ABOUT AN HOUR OR TWO LATER HE CAME BACK TO PARLIAMENT & this big discussion was raging in Parliament & he was late & he'd almost missed his time to speak. But he came back & he got up & he spoke & he won anyway! Even though he was late, he won! And afterwards his secretary said‚ "Minister, how could you do this when you had such an important thing to do to make this speech, to go off & be bothered with this little newsboy just because he was dying?"
68. HE SAID TO HIS SECRETARY‚ "THE SPEECH I HAD TO MAKE WAS A VERY GOOD THING, a very important good thing, but telling that boy about Jesus & getting him saved & into Heaven was a better more important thing!" So that's the story. It's a sense of values. The Devil lies to you & says, "No, don't do that!" God told you to do something. "No, no, don't do that," the Devil says‚ "I think He would rather have you do something else!"
69. THIS IS WHY YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE BIBLE SO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE! Then you know the difference between the voice of God & the voice of the Devil. When the little boy was first saved & first came into faith in Christ, one of the old elders of the church didn't believe the boy was saved! He said he was too young to know, to understand, how do you know?
70. HE SAID TO THE LITTLE BOY, "HOW ARE YOU GOING TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE VOICE OF GOD & THE VOICE OF THE DEVIL? The little boy had a very simple childlike answer. He said, "Well, if the voice tells me to do something bad I know it's the Devil! If it tells me to do something good, I know it's God! Well‚ this is true also even if the Devil tells you to do something good but God has told you to do something better, then you know who's talking too.
71. (SERGIO: HAVE YOU RECORDED ALL THIS? Will you allow me to take it & translate into Spanish & send it to the papers?) I think we've had enough publicity here without any more! I don't want to invite any trouble! (Sergio: I think it is a very good lesson about how to overcome timidity & how it's a mixture of fear & pride & how you can overcome it & all, the quotations from the Bible & so on!) (Maria: That's why I recorded it!)
72. 8/3/78: SHY CHILDREN EVEN WHEN THEY'RE JUST LITTLE TODDLERS, the minute somebody strange comes in the room they go over & bury their face in mama's skirt. It's something that you don't learn, it's just sort of inborn‚ & that's the way I was. (Maria: So that's pride that's inborn?) All sin in inborn, Honey.* It's two things, it's fearfulness for one thing, & fear is not really good for you. And worry, you're worried about what people think about you. (Ps.51:5; Ro.3:23; Ro.5:21.)
73. A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF PRIDE IS AN ELEMENT OF IT. You're concerned about the opinions of men. Scripture is quite definitely against it‚ talking about men-pleasures, eye-service & all that sort of thing (Col.3:22; Eph.6:6). Of course, that's in the extreme in a highly developed pretty had from when they're older, it can go that way.
74. BUT I WAS TERRIBLY SHY‚ IT WAS ALL MY MOTHER COULD DO TO GET ME TO PERFORM. Here we were, supposedly a performing Gospel entertainers group & naturally she was supposed to have children who could getup & preach & sing & blah blah blah.
75. MY BROTHER & SISTER DIDN'T MIND, my brother was a Sagittarian‚ he ate it up! He ate up the popularity, the women, the praise, the works! And he had what it took, he was good-looking & very very big & strong & smart & everything. My sister had a little bit of an inferiority complex, quite a bit, so she was a little bit the other way‚ but she was bold enough to get up & sing.
76. BUT THEY PRACTICALLY HAD TO FORCE ME OUT ON THE PLATFORM TO GET OUT THERE & SING WITH THEM or to get me to say a little ditty or a little poem. They'd try & try to get me to sing a solo but I think I did only one time. There was some funny little song about the preacher on the fence, about missionary giving. And of course children have a great appeal, so they had me out there singing. It might come back to me:
"Oh, the preacher on the fence,
Dig down, dig down,
Is the Lord's command,
Just five cents in the offering plate
Won't save the heathen land!"
—something like that.
"Oh, give out, give out‚
The other sheep
The good news too must hear.
You can't support the missionary work
On just one dollar a year!"
—Something like that.
77. I MUST HAVE BEEN SIX OR SEVEN BECAUSE WE HAD TO LEAVE THE TABERNACLE WHEN I WAS SEVEN, & I REMEMBER SINGING THAT ON THE PLATFORM AT THE TABERNACLE. I think mainly I did it to please dear old Littleton Lacey who was a Coloured preacher who had the Coloured quintet. The Alliance had this Negro quintet who were really good, I mean they were as good as the Mills Brothers if you ever heard of them. The Mills Brothers were a Coloured trio when I was a kid who sang popular music & they had terrific harmony! That was the day when men's trios & barbershop quartets & Glee Clubs were really popular.
78. HE WAS REAL GOOD WITH KIDS! They also had children's meetings, & they sang this funny little song about the preacher on the fence & you can't support the missionary work on only a dollar a year. And I liked it so much, he caught on that I liked it, so he taught me to sing it‚ never dreaming I was going to have to sing it out in public! They ate dinner with us at home & he said, "Oh do you like that one?" & he sang it over & over. He said, "Now I'll teach you to sing it." He was really good with kids.
79. LITTLE SHY KIDS HAVE A CERTAIN YEN FOR CERTAIN PEOPLE‚ they really go for some people they really love & like a lot, & I really loved him, he was so sweet & so funny. So he taught it to me. He sang it over & over again till I got it. Then my dear Mother would have nothing but that I should sing it for the congregation. I don't think I ever would have done it for her, but he did everything, almost cried begging me to sing it:
80. "DAVID, YOU'VE GOT TO DO IT FOR THE LORD! You've got to do it from me, your Mother's going to be very unhappy if you don't do it" & so on & so on. And finally I think I did it mostly for him, not necessarily too much for the Lord that I did it. (Tim: What was his name?) Littleton Lacey. (Tim: Where did they ever get those names?) Oh Honey, they've got the funniest names! They pick their own, for one thing. The last name would be the name of the master, but they'd pick their own first names after all kinds of funny things. So, I sang it!
81. BUT MY FIRST PUBLIC PERFORMANCE WAS A HUGE SUCCESS—not that one—but when I was four years old we were in Virginia Highlands outside of Washington, D.C., a residential section where my father pastored a Christian church, & they were having a missionary convention raising money for missions. My mother taught me to say this little poem:
82. "MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB
WHOSE FLEECE WAS WHITE AS SNOW,
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.
I wish I had a little lamb
With fleece as white as Mary's,
I'd sell the wool & give the money
To help the missionaries!"
And my brother was supposed to coach me & make sure I got it right.
83. THEY WERE HOLDING SERVICE AT THE SCHOOL BUILDING‚ & the Women's Missionary Society from the whole district came together & the place was full. They were having a little program of different things & kids & whatnot‚ & I was the youngest thing on the show. I know I was four because I remember having my fifth birthday there.
84. WELL, MY BROTHER COACHED ME ALL RIGHT! When I got up I said:
"Mary had a little lamb
Whose fleece was white as snow,
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.
I wish I had a little lamb,
I'd put it on the shelf,
And everytime it wagged its tail
It'd spank its little self!"
It had nothing to do with missions! Ha! But it brought down the house, they all roared! They thought apparently it was just a piece of entertainment!
85. (MARIA: WHAT DID YOUR MOTHER DO TO YOU?) Oh, don't worry about me, she knew it wasn't my fault, she gave it to my brother! He was seven years older than me so he was about 11. I can remember how he looked then, he was wearing that beany woven hat like you wear out nowadays sometimes, & it was cold & snowy.
86. AND THERE WAS THIS HOUSE THEY WERE BUILDING NEXT DOOR THAT THE BASEMENT WAS FULL OF WATER. It was just under construction, they just had made the basement & that's as far as they got. Washington has the most miserable climate. It's always wet & cold‚ or hot & wet & humid & wet‚ but always wet. But it was real cold that Winter, it was December, & the whole basement had flooded & iced over.
87. MY BROTHER WANTED TO KNOW IF IT WAS SOLID ENOUGH YET TO SKATE ON, so what did he use as his guinea pig‚ of course, none other than me! He said, "Dave, you step on it & see if it's solid enough to support us!" I was a kind of a daredevil‚ I must admit, so it was partly my fault. He said, "Don't worry‚ don't worry, I'll hold on to you & nothing will happen!" And he did have ahold of my hand. But while he was leaning over there like this I walked out about two or three feet, he'd lowered me down to walk on it, all of a sudden I slipped out of his hand & went right under just like that, right through the ice! I think they put me in bed for about three days trying to get me warm. It's a miracle I didn't get pneumonia!
88. WELL, WHEN I WAS THREE I WAS VISITING MY UNCLE IN OKLAHOMA, he ran a theatre & his language was not exactly all that it was supposed to be & he didn't pretend to be much of a church man, & in those days my mother thought it was naughty to even say slang or anything! You couldn't say anything of a bad nature. "Gosh" was taboo, "gee" was taboo, all those things were taboo.
89. MY MOTHER WAS HAVING THIS NICE LITTLE LADY'S MEETING & she always taught me when I fell down & hurt myself or something to get up & say "Praise the Lord! Thank You Jesus!", like we do Davidito. But I'd just been on a visit with my uncle‚ & pride comes before a fall! My poor mother must have deserved it. That was in the Summer because I remember the doors & windows were open & they saw me out in the yard & I fell down & hurt myself.
90. SHE SAID, "NOW WATCH HIM, WATCH HIM, WATCH HIM!" I got up & said "Dad burn it! Dad burn it!" Ha! And she just could have crawled through the floor! It doesn't pay to get too proud of children, they might just give you a big shock when you least expect it! Did you get that, Sara? Don't get too proud of children, they're apt to just do the wrong thing at the wrong time, right after you've been bragging about them!
91. SO THAT WAS THE EXTENT OF MY PUBLIC LIFE WHEN I WAS SMALL. That's about the only times I can ever remember them being able to get me out to do anything. Littlelon Lacey was the same one who taught me that little poem about "The Lawd had a job for me to do." My mother couldn't get me to do it in public, but she saw I was really interested in & really loved Littleton Lacy. I can remember sitting on his knee yet & him cracking jokes, he was really good with kids! I mean to get me warmed up was pretty rough because I was so shy.
92. HE FOUND I LINKED THAT FUNNY LITTLE POEM, "THE LAWD HAD A JOB FOR ME TO DO," so he taught it to me. And little did I realise I was going to have to say it publicly! But he taught it to me & I learned it. & finally my mother persuaded him to coax me to say it on the platform. And I don't think I ever performed again, except just with the family singing in evangelistic work when my mother, dad, brother & sister, all five of us would get out there. Then I didn't mind being lost in the crowd. But I was really shy.
93. I TOLD YOU ABOUT THE TIME ON MY NINTH BIRTHDAY WHEN I RAN AWAY FROM THE BIRTHDAY PARTY. I can see it yet! They held it at my old friend Lamont Haas' house. I always went there right after school because his house was close to school and sometimes my Dad would come by & pick us up. So they made sure I was going to come to his house that afternoon. I think I'd even forgotten it was my birthday!
94. I WALKED IN THE FRONT DOOR & ALL OF A SUDDEN ALL THE LIGHTS BLAZED ON & this huge crowd of kids rose up from behind the chairs & everything & said‚ "Happy Birthday!" And I whirled around & shot out that door & they never saw me for the rest of the day! I went off & I never went near the place! That's terrible when you think of all the trouble they'd gone to to give me a happy birthday party, & I ran like a scared rabbit!
95. IT WAS JUST INVOLUNTARY‚ IT WAS JUST MY INSTINCT TO RUN. I mean, afterwards I did think about it, but it was too late then. And my mother, Oh, she was so mad! It is something instinctive. (Sara: Did the kids make fun of you at school after that you ran away?) Oh honey, I was so used to kids making fun of me at school it didn't make any difference. They always made fun of me. Because I was a shy little awkward ugly duckling, very very reticent.
96. I WAS SO SHY TO THE POINT IT WAS ALMOST A PHOBIA OR A PSYCHOSIS OR SOMETHING. It just was Hell on Earth to go to school! It was about all I could do to go to school in the morning & have to face all those kids. And they‚ seemed to sense it & they just picked on me like you see a bunch of chickens picking on the skinniest scrawniest little sick chicken.
97. DID YOU EVER SEE CHICKENS DO THAT? They'll finally even kill it & eat it! You've seen chickens do that sometimes. Poor little skinny scrawny sick chicken‚ they'd pick on it & pick on it until they pick it to death!—And that's the way they used to pick on me! So it's just a miracle of the Lord I ever did anything for the Lord at all. Thank God I can do it by Letter, I don't think I could have ever stood to have stood before crowds of thousands of people & been a preacher or something like that. It was about all I could do to get up in front of 25 or sometimes 50 or 100 later on. (Maria: When you got going you did great!)
98. WELL, I'LL TELL YOU, IT WASN'T TILL I WAS 19 WHEN I WAS FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT THAT I LOST THE FEAR & THE SHYNESS, & ALL, just overnight like that, just the Lord! I was anointed with such power of the Spirit I really didn't care what anybody thought then. I just socked it to them! (Maria: It doesn't happen with most people that way, though, they don't change all that much.) Well, look, Peter did! One night he was denying the Lord & running the other direction, & the Day of Pentecost he stood up before thousands & testified boldly!
99. (SARA: YOU KNEW THE LORD ALL YOUR LIFE BUT DIDN'T RECEIVE THE SPIRIT UNTIL 19 YEARS OLD?) Well, of course everybody that's saved has a measure of the Spirit, but I didn't have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a real anointing of the power of the Holy Spirit, which is really for witnessing of course, until I was 19. I received it with a little Syrian missionary lady who came to our church. She was the simplest, sweetest little thing, a missionary, & she dressed in native costume. She used to drink the wine‚ stick it out like this & drink it like that. Of course in my church everybody was so shocked that she was drinking wine‚ they didn't give her too much credit for it. You know how the Canarians do out of those little leather flasks?
100. SHE WAS REAL CUTE & SWEET, ABOUT 45 I GUESS, reminded me a little bit of Indira Gandhi. She was really into preaching to young people, she loved young people, & especially trying to get them filled with the Spirit. Most of the churches where she went the kids were saved, of course, so she really preached on the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
101. NOW MIND YOU‚ I HAD ALREADY BEEN MY MOTHER'S SONG LEADER, I started that when I was 16, & I'm telling you, that was really hard for me. My grandfather helped a lot trying to give me a little confidence & teach me what to do & how to hold the songbook & how to lead the singing, & because I loved him so much I would have done almost anything for him! He wanted me to go with him & help him in some meetings & especially to run his slide projector, so I did. I usually only had to lead about two hymns & that was it.
102. I LIKED TO SING & BY THAT TIME I COULD SING. Nobody thought it was anything phenomenal, I wasn't a soloist or anything‚ but goodnight, I heard these hymns since I was born or before I was born! All I had to do was get up there & lead the singing of two hymns & sit down, so it wasn't too bad.
103. WELL, IN JUNIOR HIGH & HIGH SCHOOL, I DID GET INTO DRAMATICS, but that was only because I was really shoved into it by my teacher because I had a deep voice. The villain always had to have a deep voice, & I was also rather sober & serious, you know, & there wasn't supposed to be much foolishness about the villain, you know‚ he's sober & serious with a deep voice.
104. I TOLD YOU ABOUT MY TEACHER MISS TWITTY. We used to have jokes about her amongst us boys. And she really loved me too‚ I think, & she just begged me to be in these operettas. I could sing at least enough to carry a tune, where I could sing these deep basso profundo parts of the villain. So I was the villain in "Blossom Time," who was the Burgermeister of the town, & then I was the villain in that Gilbert & Sullivan thing about the Mikado, the Lord High Executioner.
105. WELL, I FINALLY KIND OF GOT TO ENJOY IT! I was scared to death of girls, oh my, I was absolutely scared out of my wits of women! Ha! You couldn't believe it now, could you! But in those things I got to be with the girls & sometimes I even got to kiss them because it was a part of the play. The villain had to sweep the girls off their feet & run off with them & attack'm & kiss'm & all kinds of things, & that was quite a happy little chore. If I'd only known what I know now!
106. THIS ONE GIRL WHO WAS THE HEROINE, SHE LIKED IT! But I didn't really realise she was liking it till she kissed me one night in the car when I took her home. That nearly scared me to death! Ha! As much as I wanted it, it just scared me to death. I just didn't know what to do! So I did get a little bit into it. Even my last year in high school I played the part of the father in "Seventeen." He was really the villain of the thing‚ always bawling the kids out. But that was a little easier because you had a memorised set part to play‚ certain lines, you knew what everybody was going to do & you didn't have to really do so much thinking on your feet about what were you going to say next.
107. I STARTED LEADING THE SINGING FOR MY MOTHER IN EVANGELISTIC WORK WHEN I WAS 16, when my Dad got tired of travelling. As soon as I could get a driver's license he turned her & the car over to me & that was it. He said, "OK Son, now it's all yours!" My brother didn't want to do it because he was in college & everything. So I quit school about two years & just drove her around in evangelistic work leading the singing.
108. AND I KNOW THE LORD HELPED ME THEN even though I wasn't really what I would say baptised with the Spirit. The Lord did anoint me, because it was for the Lord, to give me the courage & boldness to get up there & lead the singing. That was pretty easy too because I knew all the hymns by heart & if I forgot it‚ the book was right there. I didn't have much to say & the less I said the better! I just announced the hymn & sang it & tried to encourage the people to sing, & I loved to sing!
109. SO THEN MY MOTHER FINALLY PERSUADED ME TO SING A FEW SOLOS. I kind of got into that because I loved music & I loved to sing, & those songs I chose always were something that could really come from my heart‚ really from my heart. And she sent me then to a couple different vocal teachers, I think that was mostly just to give me confidence to make me feel like I could sing.
110. I FORGET THAT GUY'S NAME IN MIAMI who had been a teacher of several famous singers, who lost his voice completely until Dr. Koger came along & prayed for him & the Lord gave him back his voice. Then there was another one out in California, & another one‚ Hershel Hogget, who had been her father's soloist & singer. He had taught Lily Pons, one of the famous operatic singers of the day. And the fellow I told you about in Santa Ana, he used to teach Jeanette McDonald who was a famous movie star. Lily Pons & Jeanette McDonald were both singing movie stars.
111. I DON'T KNOW IF I LEARNED ANYTHING FROM THEM, I guess I must have learned something! They did teach me, I think, to have a little confidence & a little bit how to use your voice & diaphragm‚ this, that & the other, & I used to practice a lot. I think the thing that did the most good was what the first one told me in Miami. He taught me a lot of those romantic classics that I sing sometimes. I had to learn to sing them by heart in order to learn how to really sing without looking at a book or the words.
112. HE'S THE ONE WHO SAID, "DAVE, PRACTISE AT HOME & MEMORISE THE RULES & practise the techniques & all that, the tonal quality & diaphragm & all these technicalities, but when you get up & sing in public, forget it all & sing with your heart! If you have practised the techniques enough at home, they will become such a habit that you won't have to think about it when you get up in public. Then sing to the people with your heart! A singer is a messenger with a message, & you deliver the message!"
113. I THINK THAT WAS REALLY INSPIRED BECAUSE I REALLY DID THAT AFTER THAT, ESPECIALLY FOR THE LORD. It was just shortly after that that I got filled with the Spirit under that dear little old lady. She was Pentecostal, but the one thing about her, she didn't insist on everybody speaking in tongues when they were filled with the Spirit. Whereas with most Pentecostals, of course, you didn't even have the Spirit unless you spoke in tongues!
114. THE ALLIANCE WAS SORT OF IN BETWEEN. Later on because the Pentecostals went one way, all tongues, they went the other way. But she was just sort of in between, like we are. We believe what He says, that if you ask Him for the Spirit He'll give it to you! And the gifts can be manifested later. So she really taught us to have faith.
115. I REMEMBER I WENT FORWARD‚ which is kind of humbling to confess you have not really received the whole baptism of the Spirit. When I went forward, I must say, the Lord must have used me as a good influence on my young people's group, they all followed right down the line, about 15 of them, to seek the Spirit. Dolores was filled, I was filled, nearly all of them were filled with the Spirit that night, it was beautiful!
116. A FEW OF THEM SPOKE IN TONGUES‚ BUT I NEVER DID. I don't know, I think it was partly pride, or maybe it was such a criterion, something I wanted to do so much that the Lord just let me receive it by faith & I didn't really realise I had any gifts at all.
117. UNTIL THE NEXT DAY WHEN I WAS DOWN SWEEPING OUT THE CHURCH AS USUAL & cleaning things up, straightening things up, all of a sudden I just began to hear the voice of the Lord so clearly to tell me everything to do. "Now go do this about the track rack‚ now go sort out the library." I mean, I just felt so strong the voice of the Lord telling me & directing me what to do‚ it was really sweet!
118. GOD BLESS THAT DEAR LITTLE OLD LADY! Here my mother had the baptism, gifts & everything else, but I don't know, sometimes it's hard to deal with your own children. This lady was so sweet & so full of love & spoke with such faith & confidence, you just knew that if you did what she said it was going to happen, & she just knew it too! She wasn't a bit surprised, she just got us down there & prayed & we all received the baptism.
119. AND THE REASON I TOLD YOU THIS WHOLE STORY, from that moment on I never again feared a congregation or an audience ever again, really. All I had to do was just think, "Now Lord, this is Your business, You've got to help me! I'm Yours & it doesn't matter what they think‚ You just do whatever You want to do!"—& I just went ahead! I wasn't always too popular with all these congregations either‚ I used to really tell them off, especially about their heartless unfelt singing. They'd drag out these marching songs till they'd sounded like funeral dirges.
120. OH MY, THOSE CONGREGATIONS! I STARTED GETTING SICK OF THE CHURCHES THEN I THINK, because they were so hypocritical. They never sang those songs with their heart, they didn't even know what they were singing, they were just going through the motions, just the words that they'd been singing all their lives, they didn't mean a word of it. "I surrender all, all to Thee‚ I surrender all"—& not one of them had surrendered all! They'd sing it so piously & all that stuff! And boy, I would just tell them off! I got rather tough about it & my mother had to kind of tone me down.
121. I REMEMBER ONE TIME I WENT TO THIS CHURCH & I GOT SO FED UP I said, "Now listen, I don't want anybody to sing this song except those people who are willing to do it, you stand up & sing it with me!" And I had done it then, I'd really given up my education & everything to serve the Lord. "If you really are ready to quit your job, surrender everything, go to the mission field, stand up & sing it with me!"—I think there were about three little old ladies that stood up! They didn't have much left to surrender‚ but they were willing! I think especially if I'd gone with them they would have gone.
122. I WAS A YOUNG MAN & THOSE DEAR LITTLE OLD LADIES REALLY LOVED ME, MY FIRST LOVES! At least the old ladies fell in love with me. Isn't that a terrible contradiction? When I was young the old ladies fell in love with me, now that I'm old the young ones fall in love with me when it's too late! (Maria: Too late?) Yes! (Maria: Really?) Almost too late. I can't give them the service I could have then. Probably a good thing, I probably would have killed myself & them too!
123. BUT THAT FINALLY FREED ME OF THAT FEAR & TIMIDITY & I think I began being more honest with people then & just didn't care what they thought, really. I just gave them the Word & told them what I thought was right. I think that's what finally broke me & my mother up, she was still pretty system. She had been a rebel‚ but she pretty much compromised with those churches, but I got fed up with so many hypocrites!
124. SO HERE WE ARE! Well, it doesn't necessarily win you a host of friends though, you guys are the exceptions, not the rule. Thank God for the exceptions that believed it & followed. But let's face it, we weren't too popular in the churches, & we're still not very popular with the churches.
125. WE WERE TALKING ABOUT TIMIDITY & SHYNESS, & IN A WAY I THINK IT IS OF THE ENEMY because it is a form of fear & it's a form of worry & a form of pride, basically. Basically it's not good, let's face it. The fruit of timidity & shyness & over–bashfulness is not good. You're afraid to be honest, you're afraid to be open, sometimes you're even afraid to tell the truth. Even if for good motives, you're afraid it will hurt somebody or something. But on the other hand, the truth is the truth even if it kills, like that Letter I got about Deborah & Isaiah. (See No.678.)
126. AND I THINK ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO OVERCOME IT IN SOME WAYS IS LIKE GOING TO THE OPPOSITE EXTREME. Of course, number one, get saved & filled with the Spirit & with the power of the Holy Spirit‚ be able & willing to tell the truth & be honest & open & not really care what people think. You're to be concerned about people & their feelings & all that, but at the same time you're not to be so concerned that you're a man pleaser. It says "beware when all men speak well of you." (Lk.6:26.) You almost have to go to the opposite extreme then to try to overcome it.
127. I THINK I RELISHED & REVELLED IN JUST BEING ALMOST BLUNTLY FRANK & SHOCKING PEOPLE WITH THE TRUTH right to their face, especially if they were hypocritically covering up self–righteously, I just looked right at them & bang! Just defrock'm on the spot like stripping people nude! Some people like it! But the Scribes & the Pharisees don't. I got myself in a lot of trouble telling off some of those preachers & stuff.
128. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND EVEN WITH EACH OTHER LIKE WE DO HERE AT HOME, I just blurt out a lot of things that come to your mind that either you're too bashful or shy & afraid to say them, or maybe you don't even think they ought to be said. But I have found it does me good, & I think it does you good, because it strips away all these veils & all this cover-up & the truth is humbling.
129. IF SHYNESS IS BASICALLY PRIDE & FEAR, THEN IT'S GOOD TO FACE IT & JUST BREAK IT DOWN. And about the best way you can do it is just to blurt it out, spill it out, tell the truth, tell the whole story to somebody. If you're too shy to say it in public, well tell Maria in bed or something. It's good for you!
130. IF YOU CAN FIND YOU CAN AT LEAST UNLOAD ON SOMEBODY, you can open your heart to somebody in private‚ somebody who loves you & you know loves you & you love‚ then you can begin to open up to them & tell them the whole story, tell them your life story, tell them about yourself, your problems, your shyness & all the things that you have sort of covered & sometimes even been unwilling to admit to yourself.
131. BEGIN TO SEE YOURSELF AS THE LORD SEES YOU & ask the Lord to help you to be honest about your self. First to yourself, really, that's where it comes first. That's certainly the truth that Shakespeare wrote: "If thou canst to thine own self be true, thou canst not be false to any man."—If you can admit honestly these faults & failures & weaknesses & lusts or whatever you want to call them to yourself, you can fight'm!
132. NOW I'M TALKING ABOUT FOR A GOOD PURPOSE. There are evil men & evil speakers & evil-doers who love to speak evil & talk dirty & all that kind of stuff‚ I don't mean that. They really enjoy it, they just dwell in the gutter & the garbage. But I'm talking about things that really are hard for you to confess & sometimes hard for you to tell other people.
133. I'M GETTING NOW TO WHERE IT'S EASY TO SAY IT because I've done it so much & broken loose from that shell & I don't find it difficult to speak about sex & the natural things that people are thinking anyway, especially when I don't think there's any reason they should be ashamed of talking about it. I think it's good for them, it's humbling. Especially if it's humiliating it helps to humble you & to break your pride & to shake you loose from that shell & to open up.
134. IF YOU'RE WILLING TO EXPOSE YOUR OWN HEART TO THE LORD & YOURSELF & SEE YOURSELF AS YOU REALLY ARE, not necessarily always that bad even, but confessing both your faults to yourself & at the same time facing your fears, your phobias & your shyness & pride & whatnot, & willing to open up to the Lord. I think the Lord, of course, is the main secret. Once you love the Lord & know He loves you & you're willing to confess everything to Him‚ & then you're willing to confess it to yourself, finally you're willing to confess it to others.
135. IMAGINE ME FINALLY WILLING, BECAUSE I REALISED HOW MUCH IT WAS NEEDED FOR THE KIDS, TO CONFESS THE FULL HISTORY OF MY WHOLE SEX LIFE ! Who does crazy things like that? Not too many people are willing to tell the whole story. You find it a little embarrassing & you're shy to even tell it now.
136. A LOT OF PEOPLE FIND IT DIFFICULT TO EVEN FILL OUT THE QUESTIONNAIRE & tell those things. They're so fearful & they were taught so terribly that it was horrible & bad & wicked & dirty & sinful & nasty & evil & the parts of your body are not nice & blah blah blah. I mean, whoever heard any preacher get up & talk about the sex parts‚ & that they're God-made to be enjoyed‚ etc.? Well, it's something you didn't even talk about at all, period, in church. Everybody was always hiding it, so it must be bad‚ or why would they hide it?
137. IT'S A HORRIBLE STATE OF INHIBITION PARTICULARLY THE CHURCH YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN INTO. Fear & phobia & inhibition & being unwilling to really face things as they are. So, thank God, once I was liberated & freed by the truth I felt, well, I really owed it to other people too, I needed to get them to open up.
138. THEY SAY VERY LITTLE IF ANYTHING ABOUT SOME OF THEIR PAST HISTORY. Especially they seem to be unwilling to confess any early private masturbation or sex experiences, anything like that.
139. [T]here's nothing dirty, nasty, wrong or evil about sex! It's just as natural as eating or sleeping or drinking or anything else, & not to be ashamed of your body. You don't have to go around flaunting it in public.
140. HAS HE FREED YOU FROM THE PRIDE & SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS OF SHYNESS & TIMIDITY?—If not, receive the Baptism of the Power of His Spirit NOW!—And you will be!—Hallelujah!—And you'll witness like you never witnessed before! PTL! GBY! "Receive Power NOW!"—Acts 1:8. PTL!