There’s really nothing wrong with being an introvert. I’m happy and at peace by myself or “alone” with God. I embrace quiet moments, pick up on smaller details, think things through, and have no trouble keeping myself entertained.
But it can also feel like a curse. I regret not being more outgoing. Parties and events are exhausting. And often I can feel like the odd one out when I feel like I don’t fit into the situation.
Worse, I can think that being an introvert isn’t who God wants me to be. Sermons and personal stories at church get me thinking that more effective Christians are be more outgoing. Maybe if I am more of a people person, start more conversations, have more people over, I’ll be better. (Honestly most of the time this is in the way I interpret it, not how it’s actually said.)
And then I get completely overwhelmed and want to lock myself in an introvert tower with books and Netflix and snacks until I feel like coming out again. It can make me feel discouraged about myself and confused about God.
Let’s back it up a bit. I can’t speak for God, but there are some things I know about him to be true.
God created us to be like him.
Genesis 1:27 NIV says that “God created mankind in his own image.” He created us to be compassionate and strong, analytical and creative, bold and humble, and so many other things. And he created us to interact differently with people. All of these things are at different levels and combinations to make up who we are.
To say that God favors one characteristic or temperament over another isn’t fair – to God or us. There are many sides to our God, and many different kinds of people and personalities. Whatever your composition is, you are made to reflect God’s character in some way.
God is transforming us to be more like him.
Even though we’re created to be like God, as humans, we still fall short. Something that always gives me hope is that God isn’t through with us yet. No matter how imperfect I can feel, or how much I can wish for change.
2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV says, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” I also love Philippians 1:6 NIV – “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Thank God he continues to work on our hearts and help us to become even more like him! He doesn’t give up on us as we fall short, and also treasures us the way he made us.
God has a purpose for each of us.
God designed us with a mission in mind, and it’s not on our own strength. Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
So often I feel the pressure to make myself “be a better Christian” (whatever that means). I’m starting to believe more that I can let go of this expectation for myself and trust God’s process instead. That he is growing me into who he wants me to be, so I don’t have to work hard to become the picture of what I think I should be.
God meets us where we are (but also expands our comfort zones).
Revelations 3:19-20 NIV says, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me.”
“Rebuke” and “discipline” are words that have a negative connotation, not ones we typically associate with love. God does. He wants us to live free and in the light, and doesn’t just leave us deceived in our own mess. But he also doesn’t leave us to figure it out alone. He stands at the door and knocks, hoping for a relationship with us.
I’m not sure how you feel about being an introvert. For me, it varies. But I do know these things about God: he wants a relationship with us. He loves us as we are, and wants to see us be all that we can be.
Are there any scriptures that encourage you as an introvert?
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.