In our last post, we established how scripture acknowledges the introvert/extrovert dynamic. However, we have not yet established whether scripture favors one side over the other as the America and the church seems to. While in the case of Jacob and Esau, the introvert inherited the promise of Abraham, but let’s not assume that this one instance is a constant throughout scripture.
For example, King David, who was called a man after God’s own heart, was a man of action. He was comfortable on the battlefield; he danced exuberantly before the Lord. He also wrote such expressive Psalms of praise and worship that illustrated many external forms of declaration. Clearly David was an extrovert. Yet, David’s son Solomon was a deep thinker who was committed studying and understanding, wrote much of the wisdom literature part of scripture. Clearly Solomon was more of an introvert. So obviously both sides of the spectrum contributed to the Old Testament.
What about The New Testament? Well John the Baptist is described as a wild man, an outspoken and bold speaker; the sign of an extrovert. Where Paul is described this way in scripture.
For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” -2 Corinthians 10:10
Introverts often come off better, and prefer to express themselves in writing, for it grants them the time to orchestrate their words at their pace. All his time in prison would have limited his ministry to letter writing and only a few visitors at a time. In a way, it’s an ideal set up for an introvert that would truly capitalize upon his strengths.
What about Jesus himself, the ultimate model for holiness. While he often taught in a very social way, and wasn’t afraid to say it as it is; like a bold extrovert even. Yet, he also valued his solitude, and often went off alone in private to meditate and pray like an introvert. So it would seem that Jesus was a true ambivert, someone who falls right in the middle of the spectrum.
Obviously, God recognizes the strengths of both sides of the spectrum, and expects both to contribute to the body of Christ. The churches would do well to do the same, for it has failed to offer that balance for much of its history.
The Visual PARABLEist
The Visual PARABLEist