You might be an introvert if
* * * * *
- Small talk makes you crazy, you just want to have a meaningful conversation, but it's not always easy to know how to start it.
- You can handle a whole weekend or even week of people if you know it's coming and you know you will have some alone time afterwards.
- Your planned alone time gets interrupted by well-meaning but clueless friends and you think it might send you over the edge.
- You make plans to be with friends but the main emotion you feel when they cancel is relief.
- You have continuous "practice" conversations in your head 99% of which will never take place.
- You'd rather give a well planned speech to 100 people than have to start a one-on-one conversation with a stranger or acquaintance.
- You call someone and root for voicemail to pick up before a live person does.
- You express your thoughts in a blog for all the world to see because when you are writing you can think them out ahead of time.
- You are me.
Yes, I admit it. I am an introvert.
But I'm also upset at how so many people use introvertedness to be selfish.
Before I step onto my soap box, I want to go on record saying that I do understand that there are different personalities and different levels of introversion and we can't all do or be the same. But, as followers of Christ, we have some responsibilities to God, most of which revolve around dealing with people. Maybe the people who in the past retreated to monasteries to pray and meditate were actually the introverts of their time. That gave them a ministry without having to deal with [many] people. But that's not an option, or even a desire, for many today. God has called us to be with and help other people.
If you do a search for the "one another" passages in the the New Testament you will discover that we are to be devoted to, love, live in harmony with, honor, accept, instruct, and greet one another. And that's just in the book of Romans. God expects us to be involved in the lives of others stimulating "each other to love and good deeds." That doesn't involve binge watching Netflix at home, or spending all your free time reading books or surfing the Internet.
Believe me, I like being alone as much as any Introvert. Now that I don't have any children at home, I sometimes wonder how I did it. Four kids always clamoring for my attention in addition to a husband who worked from home and a missionary ministry that involved, well, people. Lots of people.
This past Christmas I figured it out. I love those four kids. And I love those three in-law kids. And I love those six grandkids. So when I had lots of them around continuously over a six week period, it was great! I love them. I love watching them interact and love each other and each other's kids. I love having them around my table again. I love seeing them pitch in with meal preps and clean up. I like to think that I had something to do with that maturity and love they show now. We had a great holiday season! Sure, when they all left and I steamed cleaned all my carpets from kid messes with a borrowed carpet cleaner I enjoyed the time alone, but I also cried.
And that's how we can be involved in people's lives. We love them.
When I was a teenager I went on a missions trip and one of the leaders said, "If you want to be a missionary you have to love three things: God and His Word, people, and hard work." I remember thinking, "I've got one." So I gave up wanting to be a missionary. NO! I began to ask God to help me love people. I still have a long way to go to love them like He does, but I do love them and love to encourage them and see them grow in their Christian walk.
(Confession: I didn't pray to like hard work. I didn't want to like hard work. But I've even learned to enjoy that. Or at least I like the results.)
No matter what personality you are, God expects you to get into the lives of other people to tell them about Him. An extrovert doesn't always have to be the life of the party keeping everyone on the edge of their seats, sometimes he can have a quiet meaningful conversation with one other person. And an introvert doesn't have to always sit in a corner, she can learn to minister to others in ways that fit her talents and personality.
How will you reach out to someone for God today?
* * * * *
To never miss an Around the Table blog post, simply sign up in the space on the right side of the blog, below the picture of the book. Each week you will receive one email that looks like this:
* * * * *