A couple of months ago, some really cool peeps and I took the MBTI test…and to my not-so-surprise, I turned out to be an INFJ!
I must sound really smart, throwing acronyms around huh? 😛
Now because I’m sure these acronyms are not as fancy as I assume they are…
The MBTI (Myer-Briggs Type Indicator) is a widely used personality inventory or test used to evaluate personality types for various types of reasons such as assessing students learning styles, determining suitable occupational fields or simply plain ol’ self discovery. The cool peeps and I took the test for the latter reason with the assistance of a great administrator to aid in explanations off course. (This is always recommended btw.)
Now Results are normally generated as four-letter personality types with a total of 16 possible combinations and in my case the combination was INFJ...I for Introvert, N for Intuition, F for Feeling and J for Judging. No surprise there huh?
Ooh by the way the J for Judging does not mean I judge people…not always anyways…it simply means that I am more methodical, result oriented and not too flexible at times. I had to clear that up honestly.
So now…in not too few words, I’ll be talking about the ‘I’ for Introversion. Introversion in me and in Church.
Introverts aye? This one is for us.
Jeremiah 1:5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mothers womb. Before you were born, I set you apart…”
I have always been the quiet one. The take the sit at the corner and don’t speak unless you’re spoken to girl. The one who would walk in, attend church service or a seminar then waste no time exchanging pleasantries afterwards. The one who always had pre-conceived conversation starters because honestly the “Lovely weather we’re having today” wouldn’t cut it on this side of the Sahara.
In retrospect, I thought I was just a shy girl…which was odd as I did a lot of public speaking in school, sometimes even in my not-all-that-good Kikuyu (schools in Ushago though)…but then one time personality types were doing rounds and I took interest. I gathered as much to know that I was definitely an introvert but also that it was not right to be one. Sigh.
A lot has changed since that day, the most significant being that I am much more self-aware and I sometimes kill at the introversion game but mostly I have become convinced that it is not a bad thing to be an introvert, especially a Christian introvert. My maker was definitely intentional…He set me apart.
Romans 12:6 “In His Grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well…”
There are plenty of conversations the church is yet to fully plug into and personalities are one of them.
See the church is made up of all us. The introverts and the extroverts, the thinkers and the feelers, the sensors and intuitive ones, the judgers and perceive-rs…even those who fall in between, we’re all one family but sometimes for people like me, it gets really difficult to actually share those gifts or serve in ministries. And it’s not because we don’t want to…gosh we’re just an interesting bunch who love God, want to serve but more often than not don’t auger so well with crowds and sometimes this gets in the way. Then there are those mini panic attacks that come when given too much attention even though we want that same attention. I know, I know…but despite it all, in His amazing Grace, God has given us all different beautiful gifts that one day at a time we are trying to share with the world.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
I could be wrong in saying this but I sincerely believe that the church and community in general have a really pessimistic view of introverts. Most introverts are normally asked to snap out of it and be normal…eeh…I’m sorry but that is not how it works. I’m pretty normal thank you very much!
Dear church, community and extroverts out there, what many introverts crave for is accommodation. Trust they want to be part of you. They long to serve and share but sometimes fear gets in the way. Now, how about we stop the belittling and actually become as accommodative as we possibly can. Support is the word. Granted, you’ll probably have to walk with them for a while but trust they’ll knock the socks of your feet and shock you with what the Lord has enabled them to do, for you see they too are part of His grand masterpiece.
This has been and still is part of my story.
I am a more self aware and self-loving Christian Introvert, because of the wonderful community of support I have received through the years. From teachers who definitely saw something in me to warrant leadership positions all through school, to one praise and worship leader who insisted that I could and will lead worship in the youth church. From amazing friends who push me to go beyond my comfort zones and do some crazy stuff with crazy support to boot and to those who forever insist that they need to come over for tea at home and force me to play hostess in my pj’s even when I clearly want to introvert in peace!! Even my family who will not let me miss me a family gathering even though I really want to spend the Saturday binge watching some show and not keeping up with the family chamas…though they’re legit fam!
But I am grateful.
2nd Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
And now dear Christian introvert. You know for sure I understand ya! Struggles are often real yoh!
I know that your greatest battle is with fear. Fear of making a fool of yourself, fear of not making it like they seem to, fear of what they’ll think…battles of my life boo! But you know what, God has placed something beautiful in you. You do know that we’re the good listeners, the encourage-rs and more often the not, the voice of reason. You matter, we matter.
Live out the commands we have been given by Christ to simply not fear and embrace power, love and self-discipline. It’s definitely a journey, I know but one day at a time with our sweet Jesus and we will get there. Initiative is the word. Initiative one step at a time.
And No, this is not about trying to change you but about embracing everything about your amazing introverted nature and sharing your God-given gifts with the church and the world at large….and when you’re done for the day, go ahead and curl up with your book or a nice film and some good coffee and maybe boxes of pizza and recharge! Do you boo, don’t ever allow the pressure to become something you’re not get to you.
Jesus uses us all. Your introversion may be used to draw souls to Him…you know He’s never limited and is forever intentional.
P.s Should you need any further info on the MBTI test, it’s results and implications, feel free to holla!
Alafu a huge S/O to one Skibz who graciously covered our feature image today. You’re amazing dear!