Is it okay for a Christian to be an introvert?Introversion and extroversion are best understood as two ends of a spectrum explaining how people prefer to relate to the world. No one is completely introverted or extroverted. Neither is right or wrong; both are simply descriptions of personality traits. There are positives and negatives to both introversion and extroversion.
A very truncated description of an "introvert" is a person who gains energy and strength from solitude and focus on his or her inner life. Introverts tend to gravitate toward deep, one-on-one conversations rather than party small talk. They'd rather avoid crowds to spend time alone or with one or two other people. Introverts often have an active inner-thought life. Introverts also tend to express and energize themselves through solitary, artistic pursuits such as painting, writing, music, and art.
These traits can be beneficial for a Christian. The practice and discipline of prayer takes stillness, quiet, and aloneness. Certainly we are to pray corporately, but Jesus also tells us to pray alone: "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:6). Jesus also modeled this by spending time alone with God (Luke 5:16).
Being able to focus and meditate on Bible reading and study comes easier, in general, for introverts. The ability to spend time alone in sustained thought can be very beneficial in pondering the things of God.
Though introverts have traits that can be applied to growing more Christlike, these same traits can also be a hindrance to sharing the gospel. Jesus tells us to go, make disciples, and teach people about Jesus (Matthew 28:19–20). This can be difficult for introverts, but it is still something we are called to do.
As Christians, we are called to spend time with others and build each other up (Hebrews 10:24–25). Introverts are not exempt from the need of fellowship and cannot use their personality trait as an excuse to disobey God's Word. However, it is also important to recognize that fellowship does not require a large group or a lot of noise or activity.
Introverts, like everyone, should watch their motivations for how they act. Some introverts can spend time alone to avoid people due to fear or insecurity. Introverts are more apt to struggle with self-image and a critical spirit. God tells us to view others with respect and gain our identity from Him (Philippians 2:3–4; Ephesians 2:10). We cannot use a personality trait as an excuse to disbelieve God's Word about who we are in Christ and how we should live as a result. Rather, introverts can leverage their strengths to draw closer to God and find security in Him. Security in our identity in Christ comes from spending time with God. Loving others comes from first receiving God's love for us (1 John 4:7–12).
It is not wrong for a Christian to be an introvert or to be an extrovert. God has made us each unique and given His children spiritual gifts for the mutual edification of the church (Psalm 139; 1 Corinthians 12). Introvert or extrovert, we each struggle with sin. There are strengths and pitfalls to any personality type.
No matter our particular tendencies, we know that God is able to equip us to do what He calls us to do (2 Peter 1:3). We simply seek Him, submit to Him, and allow Him to transform us into people who more closely resemble Christ (James 4:7; Romans 8:29; Philippians 1:6). When our personality tendency helps us in our walk with Christ, we give Him praise for it and make the most of the gifts He has given. When our personality tendency gets in the way of obedience to Christ, we ask for His power to help us live beyond ourselves.
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