by Paige K.
“But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father;
we are the clay, and Thou our Potter;
and we all are the work of Thy hand.”
When you see a stranger coming your way, do you long to run and hide?
Would you rather retreat to your special book nook than go to a crowded, noisy event? Do you find yourself wondering why solitary confinement is even a punishment? If you answered “yes” to those questions, you are most likely an introvert.
Introverts are the opposite of extroverts, who thrive and receive energy from being around other people. The dictionary defines an introvert as “a shy, reticent (reserved or withdrawn) person.” As an introvert, I often need time to recharge my “internal battery,” especially after a big dose of social interaction. I often feel drained mentally and energetically. I am not afraid of people; I simply am energized on quiet time.
Some introverts tend to be afraid to talk to anyone. They often experience social anxiety and have very few friends. The majority of introverts are more social introverts, however. They can carry on conversations and often have a few close friends they enjoy spending time with. Being a social introvert myself, I can interact with others, but I don’t like being in large groups of people. I would much rather curl up with a good book or knitting project than being at a large noisy gathering.
Unfortunately, you can’t read for a living! No matter what occupation you have, it will involve interactions with people. God has placed us in this world for a purpose, and we are to share the love of Christ with others. When I realized that my previous dream of living in a tiny log cabin filled with yarn, tea, and books in the middle of nowhere was neither healthy or likely to happen, I began to ask the Lord for direction. “God,” I questioned, “how can I function rightly if I don’t like social interaction? Can You use an introvert like me?” This article is the result of the lessons I have learned, and am still learning, from the Lord.
1. Learn to communicate.
It is necessary to be able to communicate effectively. A good way to apply smooth conversation skills is to practice with your family and close friends. Think of icebreakers before engaging in a conversation.
However, don’t be afraid of comfortable silent breaks during a discussion. Proverbs 10:19 says, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Sometimes silence speaks louder than the most elegant speech.
It is also good to know your limitations. I become short-tempered and easily disturbed when I do not have quiet time. I’m learning to simply tell my family how I am feeling and take appropriate measures, so I prevent getting to a stage of bottled up frustrations that come out in a hurtful way!
2. Interact with others.
Service to God and His people is a very important aspect of a Christian’s life, no matter what personality you have. When we lay down our lives to serve others, we are often blessed by the Lord. Service is also a great way to socialize and meet like-minded people. Although this may not come easily to you, cultivating solid friendships rooted in Christ is essential. However, you don’t have to try to be a bubbly socialite either. Focus on others around you and be a blessing to them.
3. Be a prayer warrior.
One very active role of service that introverts can play is that of a prayer warrior. Prayer is one of the best ways to serve both God and others. One way to make sure you incorporate prayer into your Christian life is to have a “prayer board.” In our kitchen is a whiteboard with both a “prayer” and a “praise” side. When we receive a prayer request or a good update, we put it on the board and pray from the board at meals. It is a great way to keep track of the numerous prayer requests and praises from our friends and family.
4. Find a talent with which to bless others.
There are a couple of gifts that the Lord has given me that I have used to bless others without making me feel anxious. Singing is one of those gifts. Whether I am performing for one or 100, I forget the people I am singing for and turn my focus to my audience of One: my sovereign King. I give 100% of my effort to please the Lord.
5. Serve behind the scenes.
Helping in the church kitchen or nursery are wonderful ways to serve your church body. Volunteers who help in these areas make it possible for others to fellowship and mothers to focus on the sermon—no matter how mundane a job may seem, it makes a huge difference and blesses others!
6. Don’t judge.
I sometimes shy away from individuals I would deem “different,” silently judging their quirks instead of seeing their hearts. This is not a loving, Christ-like attitude: we should look past their differences (while not condoning sinful behavior) and converse with others simply because we truly care about them and want to share the love of Jesus with them.
So can God use introverts?
The answer is yes—whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you can be used by the Lord in powerful ways. God created you and equipped you with the gifts you need to bless others. He is the Potter and you are the beautiful work of His hand. Don’t let your personality keep you from spreading God’s love to the people you meet. He made you exactly the way you are for a reason: to bring Him glory and honor!
If you’re interested in writing a guest post for KBR Ministries, click here.