Confession. I’ve always been slightly ashamed to admit that I’m an introvert. In our society, it carries the same humiliation as openly telling people you actually enjoyed the movie Mars Attacks. We’re taught you have to be extroverted to rule the world, be successful, and have friends. We’re told introverts are shy, crabby hermits. Introverts are told they should become extroverts.
But know what?
I’ve recently embraced what I am. See, I was created—born—introverted. There is nothing I can do to change it. It has nothing to do with shyness. Being shy is a fear of social situations, whereas introverts prefer to be alone. Big difference.
We’re not a bad lot actually. Research shows that 90% of writers are introverts the percentage is equally high for inventors. Introverts make up at least 65% of the ‘gifted’ population (the ridiculously smart people), but we only make up 25-30% of the general population.
All that’s great, but what really settled my heart is that God values the introvert.
“A gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God’s sight.” -1 Peter 3:4
Did you read that, my dear introverted friend? Doesn’t that elicit a huge sigh?
After meditating on this for a few weeks, I realized there are a lot of things within the Kingdom of God that we introverts are predisposed to being good at/comfortable with, that might be more difficult for our extroverted friends. Not that I’m bashing them. Extroverts are amazing and needed and good at so many things. They always get the limelight though, now’s our chance.
1) “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
We’re wired not just knowing how to be still, but loving it. We love to be holed up somewhere alone, pondering. Where extroverts need constant stimulation, being still comes natural to us.
2) “Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” –Psalm 27:14
We’re use to waiting. Waiting while the extroverts get all they want to say in, waiting for them to give their opinions first, waiting for the right time to do something. We’re masters at waiting.
3) “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” –Colossians 4:2 “Pray continually.” -1 Thessalonians 5:17
Introverts live in their heads. We have a constant monologue of thoughts going on at all times. We can’t shut it off, even if we wanted to. I’ve found this becomes an excellent avenue for prayer. My constant stream of thinking can become constant prayer.
4) “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” –Philippians 2:3
Again, introverts are used to letting extroverts go first in everything. We love hearing other people’s thoughts and often will hear out everyone in the room before offering our own opinion. Were the trait of an extrovert is to talk on any subject, we will only discuss a subject we know a lot about. If it’s not a subject we know, we don’t talk just to talk, instead, we humbly let the people who know more inform everyone.
5) “But whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” –Psalm 1:2
I cannot name one person I know who is introverted who isn’t a big reader. Usually, reading will be listed in an introverts ‘top three’ favorite things to do. And why not? We love being in our own world, which lends well to fiction and reading. Know what else this helps with? We’re naturally disposed to enjoy reading our Bibles. We relish the time alone to research and ponder the Word.
6) “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith, test yourselves.” -2 Corinthians 13:5
We’re the kings of introspection, and know what the main thing that leads to change is? Yup, introspection! As Christians we’re called to questions our motives, to examine our actions, and to test our thoughts. As introverts, we do this all the time anyway. Finding what to work on in yourself is a good thing! Just make sure to take action and not sit pondering forever. 🙂
Much love -jess