“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”- John 17:17
“I’m an introvert, that’s just my personality. I’m shy and don’t like to say much and that’s just me.” That’s something that I used to believe about myself and ultimately used as an excuse for just about everything in my life.
What did this look like?
1) Trying to be more hospitable: Entertaining and hosting didn’t come naturally to me. I’m not one who just loves to cook… or clean for that matter, so I used to really dread having people over. I used to think, ‘because I’m an introvert, people just drain me…I’m not made to function in these kinds of social settings. Then I thought to myself, why is that??? This feeling of anxiety at the thought of having people over to my house seemed to overwhelm me. I realized that all my anxiety over what people were going to eat or drink or how I was going to entertain them wasn’t because I cared so much about their happiness and comfort level; I realized that I exhausted myself over thinking about whether or not THEY thought I was “good enough.” Was my house clean enough? Did they say my food was awesome? Did I make them laugh and have a good time? It was all my pride. I wanted validation and it drove me crazy.
2) Being more friendly: I used to be painfully shy. If I knew I had to give a report at school the next day, I would pray that death would come before morning. I used to say to myself, you just can’t be like those people who have a million friends on facebook and get along with everyone at parties and gatherings. I realized of course, that that was my lame excuse for all my insecurities. My shyness and quietness didn’t stem from my personality but from my pride! I wasn’t friendly not because I didn’t want more friends, but because I was afraid to let people in. Engaging in a conversation was a point of vulnerability for me that I wasn’t willing to enter.
3) Being bold in my faith: I thought, being really nice and really sweet with my actions would suffice for “sharing the gospel.” We’ve all heard the quote “Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.” I didn’t really believe that quote but I sure did live like it. I am really ashamed that I let my insecurities and my pride water down the beauty and glory of the gospel.
What is it then that helped me break out of my “introverted mold?” Only by God’s grace was I able to see who I am in the gospel and that realization transformed me. Time and time again I was thrown out of my comfort zone and became exhausted with life. Now I know that was all ordained by God as a sanctification process for me. I struggled in my own strength to feel validated and important until the truth of who God is and who He made me to be became more real and more weighty than all the others truths in my life. If I truly believe that God, the King of everything, has saved me and redeemed me and made me His child I can no longer hang onto those insecurities. Sure, it’s true that I’m not that smart or funny or pretty, but who cares?! I am the child of the King! But, I am also humbled because I also know that I do not deserve His love or this inheritance.
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more servant, but a son: and if a son,then an heir of God through Christ.”- Galatians 4:6-7
As the child of the King, you can never be intimidated by people and you can never be prideful with people. In the love of Christ, I have found real security and a new fullness in my heart to be able to go out and live sacrificially in this world.