Our theme for this month: “Change can be good for you”
Our Bible verse for today: “But the news about him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. Yet he often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.” Luke 5:15-16 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Confessions of an unapologetic introvert”
In recent days I’ve been pressing the point about the need for most of us to slow our lives down, to uncomplicate things a little, and to spend more quiet time attending to the nurture of our souls. I have to admit that’s easier for some of us than it is for others. Surveys indicate that roughly 56% of people consider themselves to be introverts, while 43% see themselves as extroverted, and 1% don’t seem to know what they are. There are benefits and negatives to both, but in terms of slowing down, being quiet, and looking inward, we introverts have the advantage. We’re naturally inclined to do that anyway. This time of isolation and social distancing has served to remind me that I’m a strong introvert and that I like it.
I used to think that being an introverted pastor was a handicap that I needed to overcome. But one time a friend of mine, who is a former pastor and also a strong introvert, corrected me. In his opinion introverted pastors tend to study more and they spend more time going deeper, but pastors who are strong extroverts, while being friendly and outgoing, often tend to have trouble with quiet time and extended hours of study.
I don’t know how accurate that assessment is but I’m going with it anyway. I’m an introvert, I like it, and I’m not changing. I like people well enough, and I enjoy spending time with them, but it can be emotionally and intellectually draining for me. Whereas extroverts are energized by social interaction, introverts are drained by it. So after periods of social interaction and conversation, for the introvert it’s then time to withdraw into solitude and silence again. (By the way, I think Jesus was an introvert too. At least I’m claiming Him as one of us. He liked His time with people, but He liked His time with God more.)
There’s actually a lesson in this for all of us. For me, since I’m strongly introverted by nature, as we come out of this time of isolation I probably need to guard against that introverted nature drawing me too far away from people. There needs to be good balance. And for all you extroverts – repent now while there’s still time! (Just kidding). But you probably do need to consider ways in which you can dial it back a bit and spend less time with people and more time with God.
So there you have it – confessions of an unapologetic introvert. I’ll continue to play to my strengths and you can continue to play to yours. I’ll be the introvert and you can be the extrovert. But in all of our cases there needs to be good balance, and therefore we would all probably benefit by making some adjustments and corrections to our routines.