I don’t know if Jesus is an introvert or an extrovert. If anything, He might be both, but it doesn’t matter. I know that He is God and cannot be categorized. He doesn’t fall into any personality spectrum. He is both simple in that He simply loves us, and complicated in that we cannot fathom His thoughts and mysteries.
But I am an introvert. The next 10 posts in this 31 Days of Passion series will be about passion for life, and I’m kicking it off with being an introvert for two reasons. First because I think introverts are misunderstood, especially in the church, and second because I think Jesus has a lot of introvert characteristics.
Introversion is not a sin or a curse or something to overcome. I’ve heard it say so and it’s a bit of a bummer. I’m not mad because they don’t understand. I should probably say something though, but I’m an INFP. I don’t like conflict. And I’m very secure in being an introvert that I’m not fazed when someone assumes a negative thing about introverts.
Introversion is misunderstood in the church because people misunderstand introverts. They think introverts are shy, timid, or fearful. Of course, the Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that God didn’t give us a spirit of fear or timidity. But introversion isn’t being shy, timid, or fearful.
I concede this. Introverts run the risk of being shy, timid, or fearful. I’m an introvert. I am not shy, timid, or fearful, but sometimes I express shyness, timidity, and fear (I’m human after all). And I believe that’s the main reason why, in the church, introversion is seen as a sin or a curse because people think it’s a spirit of fear or timidity.
But just as introverts run the risk of some characteristics, extroverts are the same way. I think extroverts run the risk of being obnoxious, impatient, or not listening. And the Bible has stuff to say about those things too. But that’s not what extraversion is. And extroverts are not those things.
Think about or Google the misconceptions about introverts and extroverts, and those are the things introverts and extroverts run the risk of expressing. Not being, but expressing. But of course, there are people who are shy, fearful, obnoxious, and impatient, and they can be introverts or extroverts or right smack dab in the middle of that spectrum.
Whether you are an introvert, extrovert, INFP, or whatever MBTI personality type, that’s part of who you are. And who you are is not a curse or a sin or something to overcome. It’s something to embrace.
I embrace my introversion, and I take comfort that Jesus expressed introverted characteristics.
- Jesus would leave the crowd and even His own disciples to go off in solitude.
- Of all His followers, Jesus chose 12 to keep close to Him, but among the 12, He had an inner circle of 3 (I think some say 4).
- When Jesus spoke, His words and illustrations are brimming with lessons and meaning. His words are thought through or processed first. Introverts process then speak. Extroverts speak while processing.
And Jesus expressed an INFP characteristic. INFP’s are flexible and understanding. We want to make the world a better place and are intuitively empathetic. But if our deeply held values are violated, we become aggressive, defensive, fighting for our causes.
Remember what happened when Jesus found the money changers and sellers in the Temple? Enough said.
I’ll leave you with this article from Psychology Today, Revenge of the Introvert, that gives great insight (with research) into introverts.
And with these pins: