Tag Archives: introverts
Some Thoughts on FRIENDSHIP — From an INTROVERT! (Part 1) WRITING PROJECTS!
Some people are surprised when they learn that I test out as an introvert. An “expressive” introvert. But an introvert nonetheless. I’ve taken the Myers/Briggs, the Briggs and Stratton, and the Disc Personality tests. And I come out as an introvert.
My daughter Amy is the same. Being around people too much exhausts us. She says she wants to buy me that T-shirt that says, “INTROVERTS UNITE! IN YOUR OWN HOMES! BY YOURSELVES!” (I’d wear that T-shirt).
All of that to say that the Lord has a tremendous sense of humor. He is working on me this year to stretch me. It looks like I’ll be writing two books on . . . friendship! I’ve been working on the issue of friendship evangelism as I’m processing the idea of the Lord Jesus being “a friend of sinners” (Mt. 11:19). That work is tentatively entitled Unlike Jesus: One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel. I don’t know if that will be the final title (it’s kind of negative), but I’m convinced that Satan has won and continues to win a great victory by convincing believers that the fewer non-Christian friends they have the godlier they are. We confuse the command in James 4:4 not to be friends of the world with the idea that that must mean we can’t be friends of sinners.
It also looks likely that I will be writing a book on friendship in general. The working title for that second work is With Friends Like These . . . Biblical Friendships from Job to Jesus. This project will allow me to survey friendship in both the Old and New Testaments (I’m presently working on Abraham, “the friend of God”), consider Job and his friends (who theologically “mug” him for thirty chapters), think about how Jesus was a friend to His disciples (taking particular notice of His response to His sick friend Lazarus in John 11), and include some material on believers’ being friends of sinners.
I’m going to ask you, the reader, for something very specific. Would you pray for me and these two writing projects at least once a week over the next few months? If you agree to do this, you may let me know privately through my email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or publicly in the comment section below. THANKS!
Ten Habits That Are Helping Me in My Christian Life! (Habit #4)
“First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits or they will conquer you.” (Dr. Rob Gilbert)
“In the lowest moments of my life, the only reason I didn’t commit suicide was that I knew I wouldn’t be able to drink anymore if I was dead.” (Eric Clapton)
“Blessed is the man who can set aside all distraction . . . Act with courage, for habit is broken by habit.” –Kempis
We are asking the question in these posts, how can I move ahead as a believer in Jesus? What practices ought to mark my life and help me grow? I’ve talked briefly about reading God’s Word, praying, and being thankful A fourth habit that really helps me is drinking coffee in the morning.
No, seriously, a fourth habit is spending time alone with the Lord. I try to do that every morning (with coffee) and it is a very vital part of my new day.
I’m an introvert, so spending time alone is a welcome activity for me. I can be alone in the car driving for hours, take a long walk by myself, or just sit and read a book for a serious chunk of time. I’m not really energized by a lot of people, although I want to be social and to spend time with others. Especially if they are offering me coffee.
My daughter Amy is also an introvert. She recently sent me a picture of a t-shirt she thinks we ought to wear. I can identify with that t-shirt.
The practice of solitude is an important one. It might be easier for introverts than for extroverts. But I need that alone time for the health of my soul.
Spending time alone with the Lord in quietness or in reading His Word is a discipline. One has to get to bed at a decent hour if that alone time is going to happen in the morning.
Jesus said in Mark 6:31 to His disciples: “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.” I heard one preacher put it this way: “Jesus said, ‘Come ye apart and rest awhile lest ye come apart!'” (to be continued)
UNLIKE JESUS! One Area Where Jesus-Followers Excel (Part 17)
Charged with three sins — gluttony, drunkenness, and hanging around sinners — Jesus responds to such criticism by insisting that He came, not for the righteous, but for sinners. He was a friend of sinners — something that we Jesus-followers often are not!
My experience in knowing the Lord for over 50 years is that most Christian fellowships expect the new believer to shed his or her old relationships with the unredeemed and spend all their waking hours with “the saints.” This new social arrangement centers around church meetings which seldom go below the surface, and seem to focus primarily on Christian chit chat. I’m convinced that we believers not only have few deep relationships with lost people. We don’t even pursue strong connections with each other!
Psychologists tell us that there are, generally speaking, two types of personality: the extroverts and the introverts. The extroverts love to be around a lot of people and activity and are energized by social connections. The introverts like to be alone, to meditate, and to pray for their crazy, extroverted friends (can you tell that I lean toward introvertism?). People normally wear me out. I am an “expressive introvert,” that is, I can connect with others in a social setting, but eventually I want to go home, sit by myself (or with my wife), read a good book, and have my dog on my lap. My daughter, who has inherited my introvert nature, says she’s going to buy me a t-shirt which reads, “INTROVERTS UNITE! BY YOURSELVES. ALONE. IN YOUR OWN HOMES!”
Neither being an extrovert nor being an introvert is wrong. It is what it is. The challenge for the extrovert, I think, is to spend significant time alone with the Lord, resting in Him, and finding one’s primary significance in one’s relationship with the Lord. The introvert’s challenge is to reach out to others, step out of his or her comfort zone by personal engagement, and to find one’s primary significance in one’s relationship with the Lord. (and to pray for their crazy, extroverted friends). But both types, if they profess to be Jesus-followers, are to be like their Lord and to be friends of sinners. Which type are you? (to be continued)