The wonder of God’s creation
A part of the wonder of God’s creation of people in His image is how different we all are one from another while still being equal in worth and our ability to impact the world for His glory.
I have had and listened to many conversations about personality differences. I would not classify myself as an extreme introvert (I enjoy an occasional party and can speak my mind when I’m comfortable with the people around me). If A were extreme extrovert and Z were extreme introvert, I’d place myself somewhere around a T. What does that mean? It means I can enjoy people time only if I have enough alone time to compensate. It means I prefer an evening in to an evening out, I would always choose to hang out with one friend instead of ten, and I never volunteer to lead anything. Ever.
Unless you’re an extreme extrovert, I think you can understand these feelings on some level. There’s nothing inherently wrong in these natural feelings and inclinations. God made me with these preferences. The problem comes when I use my natural personality to create a comfort-zone cushion that excuses me from serving God the way He wants me to.
And He has called every one of His people, regardless of personality, to share that way with others.
As one of God’s unique creations, I stand more on the introverted side of the personality spectrum. There’s nothing wrong with that, but lately, God has been challenging me about using that as an excuse.
The Gospel Comes with a House Key
Earlier this year, I read Rosaria Butterfield’s book The Gospel Comes with a House Key. I read this book with avid interest as she told story after story of how God used her and her family to reach out to their community by opening up their home and basically sharing their lives with their brothers and sisters in Christ as well as their unbelieving neighbors.
I ate her words up, but in the back of my mind I kept telling myself, "this wouldn’t work for me." I was amazed at what God did through her sacrifice, but I knew that I could never do what she did. My home is my sanctuary. My place to escape when I get mentally exhausted from being around people.
Butterfield’s description of her own personality completely matches my own, and yet I had never considered that my struggles didn’t exclude me from certain ministries. I’d never seen active, people-centered ministry as something I could do (or at least do well) because I never thought about it as something we introverts are all called to do—just differently.
Some people might be able to jump out of bed and rush right into a day filled with people, activities, and service. I would be drained and longing for my bed and a book by hour two. But instead of telling God I can’t do it, I could ask Him for wisdom on how to prepare myself for something outside of my comfort zone.
In her book, Butterfield detailed how she prepared herself for ministering to people in need by learning to wake up early and have quiet alone time in the morning so that she felt relaxed and stocked up on her “me time” enough to face a day filled with serving people. This is such a different attitude than I have had toward ministry in the past.
We’re all called to share the Gospel
We’re all called to actively serve God and to actively share the Gospel. We don’t have to decide whether or not we’re capable of those things. God has already made us capable. We just have to learn strategies to prepare us for the ministry and Gospel opportunities He sends our way.
What do all of these scenarios have in common?
They all involve something we must change. God is right there prompting us. The Holy Spirit is inside convicting us.
“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
When God calls us to do something outside of our natural strength, His strength is made perfect in our weakness. That is when our pride is stripped away and we can’t boast because we know He is the One doing the work through us.
So, don’t see your natural limitations as excuses to keep you from serving God and sharing the Gospel. See them as opportunities to learn how to rely completely on God’s strength. See them as a way to exhibit His power in your life.
If you're an introvert as well, what has helped you to share the Gospel?
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