Brian G. Chilton on God Created Extroverts and Introverts for a Reason

I will come right out and confess it. I am a professional extrovert. That means that I converse with people in large gatherings as part of my job. However, I am an introvert by nature. For every large event I attend, I must have ample time to recover mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In my case, I become physically ill if I stay on the go too much.

According to Myers-Briggs (and I have taken this at least twice, both with the same results), I am an INTJ (introvert-intuitive-thinker-judger). This means that I am more introverted than extroverted—introverts need more alone time than extroverts; I am more intuitive than sensing—intuitives are better at processing abstract ideas than concrete ones; I am a thinker rather than a feeler—thinkers desire objective truth and logical principles rather than emotional issues; and I am more a judger than a perceiver—judgers are more structured and desire a plan, whereas perceivers are more spontaneous.

But what does it mean to be an introvert? Do introverts dislike people? Well, no. The difference between extroverts and introverts is in how the person recharges. Extroverts (sometimes spelled “extraverts”) enjoy being around lots of people for extended periods of time. They tire more quickly and become quickly bored when they are in small groups, or when they are alone. Extroverts hate being alone! I know because my son is extremely extroverted. In contrast, introverts enjoy being in small groups and having time to themselves. If you want to tell whether a person is introverted or not, tell them that they must go to a function where large groups of people will attend. Extroverts will jump for joy and are excited about the event, whereas introverts will try to hide their displeasure with a forced smile. Think about the difference between Tigger and Piglet or Eeyore in the Winnie the Pooh series. Tigger is a rambunctious extrovert. Piglet and Eeyore are introverts.

Is introversion something that can be fixed? In an episode of the Andy Griffith Show, Barney Fife claims that if Opie studies too much then he will become an introvert (Andy Griffith Show, “Opie Flunks Arithmetic,” Apr. 19, 1965). But is this true? No. People are created differently and for good reason. God has a plan and a purpose for both extroverts and introverts.

In 1 Corinthians 12:1231, Paul notes that God created a variety of people with different gifts and abilities who are unified as part of the same church, created by the same Father, saved by the same Savior, and filled with the same Spirit. But why did God make some extroverts and some introverts? I offer a few reasons why I think he did.

Evangelism and Discipleship Relationships. Extroverts make great evangelists, whereas introverts make great disciple-makers. Extroverts are good with large groups of people. They can quickly stir interest with numerous people. However, extroverts aren’t so good with one-on-one conversations and small groups. Enter the introvert. Introverts excel at interpersonal relationships in one-on-one scenarios. Extroverts have high motors which can stir up interest in Christ. However, introverts can fine-tune a person’s life to personally help them be a better Christian. Some of the most stellar preachers I have ever heard have been extroverts. However, some of the greatest pastors I have encountered were introverted.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brian G. Chilton