In a world full of noise, I often feel left out. The church itself is like that as well, always busy, always trying to produce a new sound and still for the most part, I feel like I just don?t fit in. As I have discovered along my Christian journey, I have come to learn that my personality leans towards being an introvert. As I look back in life, that?s probably why I didn?t do much talking, heck, if anything I still don?t, but it is better than that in the past. My only reason to have gotten better at verbal communication is for the sake of ministry. For the sake, of pouring the Word of God into the lives of others. Other than that, I really don?t care. I really don?t care about small talk, talk that only stays at the surface of one?s skin, but I care about deep talk, talk that reveals the desires/dreams of the heart.
For that very reason, I often have trouble holding a conversation with other men in church. Unlike women, men are slow to reveal deep issues about themselves (feelings, struggles, etc.). It?s a prideful thing, many don?t want to appear weak or struggling, but want to look like they have it all together. As much as I can judge others for it, I deal with it occasionally, sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I forget that the Christian life was not made to be a lone mission, but to work and be accountable to others. Sometimes I find myself wanting to reject the very community that I need. But I know I need them, I might not think it, or it may not look like it, but God?s word says I need them.
?And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.? -Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)
Furthermore, I prefer solitude, sometimes I prefer it a little too much and forget how to go out and have fun. Many a times I have found myself lonely, only because I chose to, yet I suffered emotionally for it, I desired to go out and have some fun, but my personality got the best of me. Ironically, if the crowd is too big, then I?ll start to think, ?I should?ve just stayed home.? Sometimes it is such a battle for me to decide whether I want to be with people or not and with who exactly. Most of the times, I prefer to hang with one or two people. The reason for this, is so that I can find out who you really are. I can get to know your heart, the things you are passionate about, and more importantly, talk Jesus with you.
One of my greatest struggles has been to empathize or understand how others feel. I grew up with the mindset of ?it is what it is? and I can?t let things defeat me. Apparently, others don?t seem like that. I?ve noticed certain Christians need like 5?10 people to encourage them and hug them in a certain situation just because someone said this or did that and it hurt. In my mind, when I see that, I want to say things like ?suck it up, it?s life,? or ?get over it?, but I?ve come to learn that some people, really need others to be there for them and I?ve learned that I can be one of those people. I?ve had to learn how to encourage with words, it was a struggle for me because I never really received encouragement from anybody in rough times. I just had two options, wallow in defeat or get back up. Of course, I chose to look towards my future and not in my past.
However, as much as I can list weaknesses with my personality, I still give thanks to God because it?s in situations like these that I have found my strengths.
One of things people know about me is that I know a lot about the Bible. There have been times, where I saw the name of the sermon and I knew the book and chapter the preacher was going to use or somebody would say a Scripture, but didn?t know where it was located at, or somebody was in a situation and I knew what Scripture to give them. I believe I?m able to do that because I have given more time to reading and studying the Word and getting to know God than getting to know people. Spiritual discipline can be easier for me because my personality requires that I go and spend time alone. Every Christian needs their time alone with God.
Second, I am not dependent on others for my salvation. There?s always those people in church that leave someone else leaves, either the pastor or their friend. If people leave church, then they leave, but I?m not going to follow them. My eyes are not fixed on having more friends, or on how many people in church love me and hug me and what not. What really matters is if Jesus is there. My eyes are fixed on Jesus and becoming the man he made me to be. Even if it does get lonely, I?m not going to quit. Jesus did say it was a narrow path.
Third, sometimes it?s good that we ignore people?s feelings, not because we want to be mean, but because we can?t be people pleasers. God did not call us to be one. The Gospel itself is offensive and people, especially those in church need to hear truth, truth that hurts, but matures. They may not like you for it, but God calls us to preach all of His word, not just the portions that make people feel good, but the parts we need to be holy, to repent from sin and be different from the world. Of course, the truth should be told in love. Remember, Jesus said you?re in the world, but you?re not of the world.
Overall, I want to say that if you?re an introvert, it doesn?t mean something is wrong with you. There are weaknesses and strengths in extroverts and introverts. It?s just the way God made you and he wants to work in you and through you despite the weaknesses of your personality. You may have weaknesses, but know that you got some strengths that the Kingdom needs. Other people may look down upon you and underestimate you, but don?t worry about that, in due time they?ll see the great things God has done through you.