To The Introverted Christian
I had an interesting conversation with my husband today. I saw this reel on Instagram that I thought perfectly illustrated the differences between our behaviors. It was a short humorous video showing what an introvert does after church service versus what an extrovert does after church service.
The introvert is seen basically running out of the church to avoid socializing while the extrovert is seen walking down a hallway, knocking on doors, looking for someone to talk to or grab lunch with. My husband is absolutely that guy searching to socialize with someone, while I am the introverted one.
I prefer to be by myself. Just me and my little family. I'd much rather stay in my cozy cocoon, which is the comfort of my own home, than to socialize with others any day of the week. However, since this introvert is married to an extrovert, I am sometimes placed in predicaments in which I have to socialize. Therefore, I don’t run out the door like I would if I was by myself… or I don’t anymore.
A few years ago, after church services, I’d just go wait in the car for him until he was done “running his mouth” as I used to so rudely think. But now, I sit in the vestibule and wait for him… and I actually converse a little now myself 😊. Because of my husband, I have church family whose fellowship I truly enjoy – a fellowship I know I would not have if I had remained in my introverted bubble.
So, as far as being a Christian, is it okay to be an introvert?
I know we introverts can’t help how we feel. An introvert is just an introvert. Social gatherings can drain us, and being a social butterfly just isn’t in our DNA. I can NEVER see myself being as social as my husband is. I remember seeing him talk to this guy once at a church carnival. He waltzed over and talked to the man as if he was a dear old friend. Once they were finished conversing, I asked, “How do you know him?” He said, “Oh, I don’t know him. He stays in the area and just dropped by for the carnival.”
Again, I don’t ever see me being that social. The most I would have done in that situation is smile, nod, and keep it moving. But as far as the mission of God, spreading the gospel and having fellowship with Christ’s bride, is it counterproductive to be an introvert?
I’ll say this. I’m a writer, not by choice, but by calling. So, as an introvert, I am able to keep to myself and still spread Christ to the world by way of my articles and books. I really love that. However, what about fellowship? Unity? When we look at the early Christians in the Book of Acts, they were all on one accord. Acts 2:44 states, “all the believers were together and had everything in common”. They didn’t run away from each other.
They ate together, they visited each other's homes, they prayed together. God’s will would not have been done if they refused to socialize with one another. How could they have edified one another if they never talked to one another? Christian introverts are an integral part of the body of Christ and your presence is needed, even if you aren’t as talkative.
I know socializing can sometimes go against our nature, but as children of God, we know there are many things that inherently go against our nature that we have to fight against. The very flesh that we live in goes against the Spirit, yet we are called to walk in the Spirit.
The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
(Romans 8:6-9 NIV)
It is evident that what is natural to us can be counterproductive to God’s will. So, my dear reader if you are introverted, examine yourself and determine if your introverted ways have prohibited you from fully walking in God’s will. I am in no way stating that you can’t be a Christian introvert. I am, however, stating that you should not be so introverted that you do not fellowship in any capacity with God’s people.
Our minister once preached that God and God’s people are a package deal. We cannot have one without the other (or at least we shouldn't). We often think that if we love God, serve God, and have a relationship with Him alone, then that is enough.
Yet, that’s not what’s shown to us in scripture. Even Jesus had twelve friends He communed with. And His friends also went out into the world and preached Christ after He ascended… these are all things an introvert would likely avoid.
This Christian journey isn’t an easy one. We are called to die to ourselves daily. This could very well mean that some of your introverted ways also need to die. Take baby steps if needed. Some people have social anxiety. I get it… which is why you should pray about it and ask God to lead you if this message applies to you.
Try to fellowship with likeminded people and then afterwards, go into your cocoon to reenergize (I love my little cocoon). Introverted Christians don’t have to be extroverted. God made the introverts of the world and understands our ways. Yet, fellowship and unity with God’s people has always been standard. It may not be easy, but it’s for our good.
That’s all I have for you today, reader. If you’re introverted like me, let’s seek God’s face on how to operate and move in what He has called us to do. We got this! We can do all things through Christ. Be blessed!
Quin Arrington's books are available on Amazon. Click the link below if you are interested in her literary work.