Question: Insecure Introverts Finding Confidence and Calling

Two anonymous questions:

– You’ve posted an incredible article about introverts, all of which pertains to me. However, with my insecurities combined with my introverted-ness results in a very quiet member of the church, which is considered bad. This makes me ashamed of being introverted, and even more insecure about being insecure. What’s the line between remaining who I am (an introvert) and developing myself into a passionate follower and advocate of Christ? How do I regain confidence in myself?

– I’m not the outgoing type of introvert and I struggle a lot with helping out the fellowship that I am in. I often feel inadequate and that I’m not contributing as much as I should. What’s a good way to get involved? Or what’s a good way to make use of being an introvert? Any advice would help!

Hello fellow introverts!  We have found each other. Yay and high five!

That was really out of character, but I couldn’t help myself.

Please allow me the grace to point to some previous posts —

I Feel Bad For Being An Introvert

Christians Need To Be Extroverted?

Here’s also an interesting article from USA Today about why introverts are better in the work force and how they’re being hired more now:

On the job: Introverts win in the end

Dear friends: there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert.  You are allowed to be methodical, reflective, deliberate, and most importantly, you.  We live in an extrovert-biased world, and while I totally love my extroverted friends, no one should ever twist your arm into their own preferences.



Introverts can do everything that extroverts can, whether in the spotlight or behind the scenes, and I’ve been blessed to witness every spectrum of personality take on impossible roles to the glory of God.

At times, ministry can force a certain aggression that is confused for confidence, so there’s hardly any room for the people who enjoy numbers and charts and brainstorming and admin, not to mention introverts who can be great speakers, musicians, artists, and leaders.  While your personality can affect your calling, it’s really up to God and not your culture.  God has a funny way of calling you into tasks you might not otherwise ever do.

When I wrote 14 Ways To Handle A Christian Introvert, I never realized how many people felt alone and isolated simply because they were introverted, especially in church.

It still gets the most views of anything I’ve written.  But what grieves me so bad is the backlash in the comments section: people saying things like “You’re giving permission for introverts to be moody/selfish/sinful/crappy/antisocial.”  I understand what they mean, and I wish I had a less abrasive tone — but le sigh.  Even if the “selfish introvert” thing was true, introverts still need grace just like anyone else.  Getting on their case doesn’t help anything and could only make things worse.  Again, I have nothing against extroverts: but dang, some understanding could go both ways here.

The critical thing is NOT to feel bad about how God made you, and to utterly embrace your awkwardness as part of who you are.  Once you’re okay with being a slightly sheepish nervous jittery person, you will actually be okay around people because you’re not trying so hard to be someone else.

I’ll finish here by quoting myself and my spiritual brother, C.S. Lewis:

Trusting God is also trusting how He has made you uniquely YOU.  It’s to know that God sent His Son for you and loves you just as you are, the nervousness and all, and this is real confidence: a sort of humility that submits to God’s plan.  People who are comfortable with themselves have increasingly found their security in God’s absolute, never-stopping, always-constant love.  This is the Real You that God is sculpting you to be.  We so often hide that with a cultural idea of “confidence” that is really just shallow fakery, whether it’s a nicer car or better hair or cuter purse.  Those things are fine, but not if they define you.  Let yourself out to play.

“You will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it… Give up yourself, and you will find your real self.— C.S. Lewis

— J.S.

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12 thoughts on “Question: Insecure Introverts Finding Confidence and Calling

  1. As an introvert, I too have dealt with the same fears and/or accusations. After many years of living, experience, bruises and cuts, God finally was able to get through my thick skull he made me this way. I can honestly say I have now embraced it but it was a very long hard road getting here. He uses me in the quiet background more often than not and yet he had filled me with his boldness to speak his truth. For me one of the biggest obstacles was understanding God is the only one that matters; his opinion trumps everyone else’s. And that my friend is freedom.

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    1. Thanks for sharing so honestly. I still think introverts are one of the most mistreated personalities in the church. Even the fact that there is tons of backlash now against the “introvert movement” only shows how little grace there is for people who are different than the accepted norm. I can only hope that introverts do not abuse their own personalities as permission to be antisocial or to enable their own detachment, but rather funnel their uniqueness for the greater good: as you have.

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    2. I love your response to this post and totally agree. This is how God made me. In the end he alone will receive all praise, glory and honor for our lives. Whatever he has called us to do.

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  2. JS, I don’t often play the pedantic card, but here it helped me. The definition of my counselling technique (NLP) for this is that extroverts draw energy from people – introverts have energy drained from them by others. I thrill to that non-judgmental insight. I began more introvert (for a lot of reasons), but my training (and a patient God!) have led me to a mix of both. I offer this in particular: when counselling I observe that people often need to draw energy from me for their healing and refreshing, and no extrovert will do that!! Too bad the “judges” think God is so stupid for creating (and/or allowing) people to differ according to GOD’S plan. Funny, God called me to work that needs an extrovert to do well. And God worked it even when I was mostly extrovert. Hm, maybe God can do what God wants and “all our righteousness is as filthy rags”. God does amazing things with the material God created!
    Peace

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  3. I admire your boldness for writing about this despite the ‘backlash.’ I grew up insecure and introverted just like that person who posted that question you quoted. It was very difficult because I often get misjudged and misinterpreted. Because of my desire to be ‘good,’ I even went through a ‘trying hard’ phase where I just had to try to please people, leaders, just to be able to to say that I’m doing the best I can to be a model Christian. But the more I grew deeper in my relationship with God and my understanding that His love is relentlessly unconditional in the most absolute sense of the word unconditional, I started become more confident in myself and accepting of my uniqueness. I learned to accept the fact that I can’t please everyone but I am already pleasing to God. So I focused on pleasing God and learning how to love others more, and going out of my way to be a bit extroverted for the sake of love. I guess, what I am saying is that, rather than pleasing the crowd, we just have to focus on loving God and others. We can do this in our own special way like through writing, by making friends with people who are also introvert, and stuff like that. Then, if love should compel us to step out of our shyness, then God will give us the grace for it. But we don’t have to be like the rest, we should actually celebrate how God uniquely created us. We all have a special calling and purpose and I believe extrovert or introvert, it’s one that is glorious! 🙂

    I’m sorry for the extremely long comment. I haven’t blogged for a while so I ended up pouring it out right here. =P

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    1. Thank you for being so honest, and it looks like you could write your own blog post on it too ..!
      I love what you said, “We should actually celebrate how God uniquely created us.” I think there’s a lot of molding in our Christian subculture (and the world at larger) that is NOT biblical, but very antithetical to God’s heart for us. There is so much anxiety for introverts (and extroverts too) that are trying to fit into the norm. But I wonder who even defines the “norm”? We’re each our own extinct species, a part of God’s art. 🙂

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      1. Thank you too! Yes, yes, we’re our own extinct species – I love that. Imagine Jesus during his time, he broke the norms right? We definitely have a lot to learn if we keep our hearts and minds open to be changed by the Word of God 🙂

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  4. I so appreciate this post! As an introvert and someone who deals with an “invisible illness,” life can really be rough sometimes. I’m learning to embrace the personality God gave me without using it as an excuse. Thanks for writing this!

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