For some, walking into a room is as effortless as a feather falling in the wind – whether that room is crowded or calm. Your confidence is steady and your energy is inspiring. For others, walking into a room is as awkward as waving to someone only to realize she wasn’t waving at you.
Either way, the assumption we can all too often make is that entering a room is about us. About our presence. About our next move. And it’s an exhausting way to walk.
Focus on His Purposes Instead of Yourself
What if the next time you walk into a room, you decide not to think about you?
- No, to wondering what others may think of you.
- No, to feeling insecure, protective, or afraid.
- No, to believing you’re not good enough.
- No, to comparison.
What if the next time you walk into a room, you decide to think about the other person?
- Yes, to wondering what her story may be.
- Yes, to being confident yet humble, vulnerable and brave.
- Yes, to God is enough.
- Yes, to connection.
This will be harder for some than for others. Particularly for the introverts in the room. But as an introvert who thrives in solitude and silence, I assure you that by the grace of God, entering a room with you on my mind has been one of the most freeing discoveries I’ve had in the last decade. Mind you, I’m a work-in-progress. But as I have put in the work to discover how God has uniquely designed and gifted me, it has spurred my curiosity to notice the people in the room over my presence in it.
One Simple Phrase to Remember
I have found myself wanting to know more about you, and your story, too. For the first time in my life, I am learning the deep value of “weightless wonder.” In other words, I am making it my aim to enter a space not with information about me (and all the head noise that comes with that), but rather with questions all about you. After all, you are an expert on you and who doesn’t like to talk about what they know best
Even in our differences, we share common ground when we share our stories, and this almost always leads to sweet, unforced, and yeah, sometimes brave conversation with people who I “walk into a room” with …
- People I see on a daily basis.
- People I see at special events.
- People I see at my usual places.
- People I am seeing in a whole new light.
What if, the next time you walk into a room, you make this one simple phrase your first thought? You matter.
Who knows, you may even find a new, beautiful friend. A new, unexpected assignment. A new, empowering freedom.
Walk by These Words
- “Gospel humility is not needing to think about myself. Not needing to connect things with myself. It is an end to thoughts such as, ‘I’m in this room with these people, does that make me look good? Do I want to be here?’ True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. The blessed rest that only self-forgetfulness brings.” – Tim Keller, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness
- “We bring what we believe about ourselves and what we believe about God into every situation, gathering, and decision. I don’t want to live by default. I want to walk into rooms with presence and on purpose, aware of people for God’s sake rather than for my sake. … We are free. We are free. We are free. May this change how we walk into rooms.” – Emily P. Freeman, The Next Right Thing
- “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4, CSB
And so, what do I think is one of the best ways you and I can walk into a room with freedom? I propose that it is the same way we, as followers of Christ, should leave it. Less of me, more of Him. For it is the fragrance of Christ and Christ alone that endures, captivates, and liberates.