For those who know me, really know me, I am probably one of the least likeliest people to be deemed an introvert. But, here’s a little secret: I am. Why I’m like this only God knows. What I DO know is that it has hindered me a bit at times. How it has done so I’ll get into shortly.
Generally speaking, introverts are definitely not Type A personalities. We are more measured in our decisions and movements. We are analytical to a fault, even overly so. Even after making a decision, we may still wonder, “did I make the right decision?” Another character trait found in introverts is the semi-awkwardness at large social gatherings. It’s a feeling that tells introverts to scan the area, people and surroundings. Introverts tend to be extra observant. The fact that an introvert is even in such a place is an oxymoron and a refutation of the awkwardness; yet it can also not be. Along with myself, there is one key trait about introverts that stand out, aside from the before mentioned few. That trait is that we (introverts) are thinkers.
Being a thinker in itself is not necessarily a bad thing; however, it can be a hindrance when trying to identify the voice of God when He is speaking to an introvert. This hold especially true for myself.
I have a tendency to bounce ideas around in my head, a lot. Sometimes it keeps me from deciding on the best courses of action; other times I make decisions, but still question them. Couple this with an increasing desire to follow God’s direction and fighting to maintain obedience to His word, and things can get a bit confusing. There are times I concentrate so hard on hearing God, or recognizing His voice that I know I have missed Him. It’s quite ironic really. The good news, however, is that God will keep on communicating, so long as I’m willing to be obedient and keep on listening. This has been proven time and again in the Bible, especially in the time of the prophets.
Most of the prophets were ready to hear from the Lord, and when He spoke, they listened, then acted upon what God told them; the most famous exceptions being Moses and Gideon. I say this because based on the characteristics mentioned when discussing these men, they both were introverts. Gideon was probably even more of an introvert than Moses because he showed a another major hangup of introverts: apprehension of progress. Though God spoke to both men, particularly Moses, they both still didn’t immediately act on what God told them to do. They got so caught up in what others would think. They even questioned whether God was talking to them, or if they were hearing voices. Either way, both thoughts resulted in the same reaction: hesitation.
Luckily for them, as well as other introverts, the Lord can be patient. He made provisions for Moses by having Aaron assist him. He dealt with Gideon’s fretfulness by providing proof to him that God was in fact speaking to him. The key points here again, are that 1) the introverts availed themselves and listened for God, and 2) God moved them in spite of their apprehension.
God will use who he desires, regardless of a person’s perceived shortcomings. Introverts, whom I count myself among, may feel we have more shortcoming than others, but this is simply not the case. What we lack in some area, we have an abundance of in others, such as the ability to focus intensely, when needed. As long as we avail ourselves to God’s calling and listen for His voice, He can use our greatest hangups to spread His word, and that what it’s all about anyway, right?
Talk to me. Introvert or extrovert; which one are you? What’s your greatest barrier to hearing God’s call?