Introvert made Extrovert in Christ

I recently published a post on Louise and her introversion. I’m so thankful for friends and fellow bloggers who push me beyond blogging about fictional characters to discussing eternal truths.

I got talking with one dear friend in the comments who said – to paraphrase – that labels such as “introvert” and “extrovert” can hold us back from living God’s design.

I think that’s sooo true. I’m an introvert. Being introverted (or for that matter being extroverted!) isn’t innately sinful; it’s a display of the diverse and intricate ways in which the Lord created us. But with each aspect of our personalities come various tendencies, some of which are harmless and some of which are sinful.

146-introvert-made-extrovert-in-christ

The Introvert might neglect to share the gospel. The Extrovert might neglect the “quiet” or “devotional” aspect of knowing the Lord.

We can either recognize our problem or insist, “It’s because I’m an introvert; that’s how God made me.”

I want to emphasize again that yes, the Lord totally made us each unique and that’s a glorious thing! But everything that smacks of sin – even if it overlaps with personality or seems to be because of it – is a result of the fall and we ought to flee from it!

In my dialogue with my friend, this verse came to mind:

For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave.

-1 Corinthians 7:22

As a tribute to the context of this verse, Paul was addressing a question in the Corinthian Church: whether or not slaves (literal slaves) should seek freedom after coming to faith in Christ. (Count this as a teaser and read the surrounding verses if you’re curious about the answer.)

You may wonder what this has to do with anything. I would venture to say that there’s a broader truth represented in this text.

Satan would like to take and use any status or condition he can as a tool to make us fall. See how he did it with the slaves. He would have them feel woeful and sorrowful about their status of slavery so that they doubt the sufficiency of Christ to reach even them. Or maybe he would have them be dissatisfied with their quality of life and idolize freedom.

But slavery was not the issue because Satan had a different technique for the free. He would have the free believer feel proud and entitled to salvation. Or perhaps he would have the free person feel superior and refuse to associate with enslaved brothers and sisters.

Back to the subject at hand

Likewise, Satan likes to use Introversion and Extroversion to present temptations in our lives that are tailored just for us – and to cause us to fall for them by telling us that it’s only a question of personality.

But the Lord is victorious in the lives of those He has called to faith. The slave, in Christ, is Christ’s freed person. The freed person, in Christ, is Christ’s slave.

The Extrovert, in Christ, recognizes their need to spend time sitting quietly at The Lord’s feet.

The Introvert, in Christ, steps out of their comfort zone, engages with others and shares the gospel.

The key phrase is “in Christ.” That’s where the transformation happened that brought us from death to life and it’s in that name that Introverts draw strength to step out for the sake of He who died for us.

Let’s Talk

  • Do you face the struggles of an introvert or of an extrovert?
  • Have you already discovered the power of Christ’s transforming work? Do you have a testimony to tell?
  • Discuss James 1:9-10 and Proverbs 30:7-9
  • Are you thankful for friends who encourage you to be eternity-minded? Share your gratitude and let’s be thankful together!
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10 thoughts on “Introvert made Extrovert in Christ

  1. This post was interesting to read, especially as it mirrored some thoughts that I’ve had recently. I’m very much an introvert, and for a long time, I used to want to be an extrovert because I thought that would make more capable in all areas of my life. Then for a while I wondered if it was okay to be shy because God made me this way. But as I’ve gotten better at talking to people, I’ve realized that I’d much rather be an “introvert in Christ” (as you put it) than an extrovert. I believe that my introversion has given me a better capability to really listen to other people as they talk about their struggles, which allows me to help them more.

    I still need to improve at talking and being more courageous, but I know that God has given me these abilities for a reason–and that he will soften the bad aspects of my character so that I can more fully follow him.

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    1. Lana! Hi! I feel like I haven’t “seen” you in a while! I stopped checking back on your blog some time ago (around the time you stopped posting). Are you up and running again? I tried to check for myself after receiving your comment. I tried both last week and this week, but I’ve gotten error messages every time. 😦

      I’m interested in knowing how you’re going. Last I knew, you were starting to approach writing and publishing more seriously – like a career. You were setting for yourself some big goals and deadlines and you were scheduling writing time into your life (and you were sticking to it very well). How is that all going?

      In response to your comment, I hope I didn’t come across as condemning with my words. Both introversion and extroversion have their sinful tendencies… *and* their innate strengths. I don’t mean that the introvert ought to abandon the strengths of their introversion together with their weaknesses in order to become an extrovert. I just don’t want me or the people I love to settle with their weaknesses. Not that we can change ourselves by our own willpower, either, but in Christ, the Lord redeems us. I think that’s one example of how His power is made perfect in weakness.

      I don’t think it’s just a matter or semantics, though it seems like it at times. And I *do* think it’s possible to find a happy medium (or at least to strive for it as long as we’re on this earth). To conclude, I would say let’s (let us – to include myself) find out what pleases the Lord.

      Don’t forget to include that update on yourself when you reply to this. 🙂

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      1. Hi! 😀 No, I haven’t posted anything since then. I am planning to do a post in the next few days, but it’s mostly just an explanation of my absence and why I will continue to be gone (though once I finish drafting Battle Song I for sure want to get back into blogging again!)

        Well, school has been a bit overwhelming, and I think that’s okay…as school is the thing that I am supposed to be doing right now. But I also did procrastinate from writing quite a bit. Then I had an idea for another novella from the same world as Iris (if you remember my spotlights from that novella) and so I was writing that during April and the first part of May. I think that really helped me get back into writing and want to start writing in Battle Song, and in the past few weeks, I’ve been doing well on writing for an hour 3-4 days a week, which has been great! So I’m not sure how long it will last (as I seem to have ups and downs in my dedication) but I have high hopes that I will finish Battle Song in the summer.

        As far as publishing…I have had some worries about that. In the LDS church, girls can go on 18-month missions at age 19. I’m not entirely sure if that’s what God wants me to do, but it’s definitely a possibility that I’m considering! And I feel like with how long traditionally publishing takes, it could be really difficult to try to get Battle Song published before that and then insert that big gap. So I guess I’m just not entirely sure on all of that stuff right now? But it’s for a good reason that I’m not as sure, I think.

        Anyway, thank you for asking how everything was going–that’s very kind of you to remember and take an interest! 🙂

        No, no, you definitely did not come off as condemning! I think we have both come to the same conclusion–of our weaknesses made strengths in Christ–and that is really awesome. I’m so glad that I have a friend like you whom I know is constantly striving to be a better follower of Christ. 🙂

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      2. I’m glad to hear news from you, Lana! For sure, writing doesn’t have to be a priority – and I personally don’t think it should ever be a *first* priority. But it is nice to have a sounding board for a sense of accountability if you’ve decided it is somewhere on the priority list. Are you in your last year of school, then? And I’m curious as to where you would go on that mission trip if you went.

        Oh yes, traditional publishing is quite the long process from what I can tell by watching a couple of my friends who have chosen to go that route. They’ve been waiting for years. They’ve sent out countless queries and sometimes an agent takes an interest in their manuscript, but ultimately they have been rejected – sometimes after months of the agent having possession of their manuscript. Thank God that they’re trusting Him. I’m hopeful that one day they might have a victory to tell about and be able to encourage younger writers following in their footsteps. And I hope that the Lord will be glorified in the telling and retelling of that victory, just as my friends have glorified Him as the tell me about the waiting process.

        If you think of it, let me know when you publish that update post and I’ll see if my browser will load your blog!

        Thinking of you, Lana. xx

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  2. So true, Jordy!
    I feel like often we take things and make them labels…. such as ‘introvert’, ‘extrovert’… even Christian. We cling to those labels, maybe because they give us security? A safe feeling in our comfort zones? So that we’re confident in who we are and don’t feel the need to change or grow? The only name we need to hold is children of God. And we shouldn’t turn these things into titles or labels.
    I think I sometimes use the excuse of being part introvert to not socialize… by that I mean sometimes (*cough* awkward family reunions *cough*) I mean that I would use that as an excuse to not try to talk to people more than necessary. While that isn’t always a problem for me it comes up sometimes.
    We should stop using being a introvert or extrovert as an excuse but be – whatever the case may be – in Christ.

    I read those Bible verses. I don’t think there is necessarily a problem with being rich… as long as you are using that money in a way that glorifies God. The thing is money is a huge temptation for a lot of people and some wouldn’t be able to resist the temptation. The only thing we really need is God. He can provide for our needs – I said needs not wants. We often want things that we don’t need. Even if we don’t have a lot of money but have God then that’s what really matters. We shouldn’t cling to anything that makes us lose sight of God… because in the end He’s what matters most. What are your thoughts?

    Yes, friends who remind you to be eternity focused are the greatest :).

    Great post!

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    1. Yes, Sarah, I do think that labels give us a sense of security. Because I think we use them as an excuse or think that they justify us to stay where we are rather than to grow in Christ. I don’t say this to remove myself from “us.” I can see specific times when I’ve done this very thing. But by God’s grace, there is forgiveness and a chance to try again.

      I think the thing about being rich or poor – or being high or low in society – is that as with introversion and extroversion, we can use them to excuse sinful tendencies. That’s why – I think – the writer of that proverb asked, “give me neither poverty nor riches”; he recognized that there’s a unique trap that comes with either. And just as introverts ought to take pride in their extroversion in Christ because of His redeeming work, so “believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position,” and vice versa, as it is written in James. So that is my take on those verses. But as you said, I don’t think there’s a problem with being rich; it’s more of a *potential* problem. Indeed, the Lord takes care of our every need. He is so good!

      Thanks for your comment, Sarah!

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  3. This is so true, Jordy! Like Sarah pointed out above, I think we tend to use labels of all kinds, including “introvert” or “extrovert” to hide behind sometimes. As an introvert myself, I’ve had to realize this and it definitely takes effort to move beyond your “label”, but it’s always worth it! We are all different personality-wise, but in Christ we have the strength to share and unite with others through our common love of Jesus. Thanks for sharing this post! xx

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    1. I like the conclusion of your comment: “We are all different personality-wise, but in Christ we have the strength to share and unite with others through our common love of Jesus.” And that little phrase, “in Christ,” has really impressed me as I’ve considered these things. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sarah. 🙂

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  4. I’m so glad you spoke out about this, Jordy! I have a long standing frustration with personality labels, haha, but it’s because of exactly what you said: sometimes we use them as an excuse for sin, and sometimes we use them as an excuse to avoid growth. And that’s not right! It’s true they can be helpful and interesting in learning about ourselves, but they aren’t to become our identity. Thanks for the thought provoking post, and may we all strive to be who Christ wants us to be, regardless of of what label does or doesn’t fit! xx

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    1. Yes, and thinking about it now, I suppose this post isn’t even about introversion or extroversion -not directly, anyway. It’s about the redeeming, sanctifying, miraculous work of Christ in our lives. It’s a shame to think we’d want to avoid that being part of our stories, but we do. Or I do anyway. Your exhortation is something for me to remember: ‘may we all strive to be who Christ wants us to be, regardless of of what label does or doesn’t fit!’ Thanks for chiming in, Jess! 🙂

      Like

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