It is hard to believe, but only about four years ago did I find out that I am an introvert!
I started my career in Australia working in the basement of a hospital running five computers. The exhaustion introverts experience in the presence of a crowd of chatty co-workers was unknown to me. That all changed when I moved to California to work in a cubical among fifteen noisy, bubbly people. It was exhausting.
I counseled about this issue, took a Myers-Briggs personality test, and confirmed that I truly was an introvert. My boss gave me a new office outside the cubicle farm, and I started to regain my energy and peace of mind, but it raised a spiritual question. Can our personality be a drawback to our spiritual role in the Kingdom of God?
The Parable of the Minas, found in Luke 19, tells the story of a wealthy nobleman who leaves on a journey, putting varying amounts of money in the hands of three servants. Two of the servants invest and have profits to offer when he returns. The third hides his money and offers nothing.
In commendation, the former two servants receive cities to rule according to their ability. The third, nothing, and even his initial sum is taken away. The cities the first servants receive reflect the level of responsibility given to the called and faithful, resurrected to a spirit existence at the second coming of Jesus Christ.
But how can introverts cope with ruling cities full of people in the Kingdom of God? Does God want introverts to become extroverts?
Introvert or extrovert is just a personality type, one depleted and the other recharged by socializing. The good news is that when a frail physical human is resurrected as a spirit being, there will be no lack of energy. Spirit existence is not constrained by physical weakness.
Luke 16 is not about numbers of people, nor physical energy, but rather the God-like character that we are developing, especially outgoing love. God has given us a little of Himself, through His Holy Spirit, and we have to be faithful and grow in it.
Our personality is like the weather, obvious and immediate. Character, like climate, is cumulative, learned, and evident only over time. Layered on top of both are trials. Our challenge is to chip off bits of personality and character that God indicates are not reflective of His character.
We have a powerful tool, God’s Holy Spirit. With it, we can cast “…down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,…” 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Every single thought? Yes, we live our character and personality 24/7, and our thoughts mesh seamlessly together. Daily prayer and Bible study are the keys to chipping off the rough bits. You and I are ourselves all of the time, so we always need access to God.
God doesn’t want a family of just extroverts or just introverts, but all sorts of personalities sharing in common one important factor, taking care of one another with godly love. Our personality with God’s character is the target. Using God’s Holy Spirit to bring every thought into subjection is how we achieve that goal.
By Ben Orchard