Introversion and extroversion are basic personality types. All people have a combination of uniquely layered traits, preferences, and qualities, which may include both introverted and extroverted behaviors. Generally speaking, introverts keep their thoughts and focus internal, whereas extroverts outwardly express themselves. Introverts prefer to be around fewer people, while extroverts thrive in a larger group.
Neither introversion nor extroversion are sinful or considered "bad." A Christian can be either an extrovert or an introvert, and both are simply one part of the way God made each of us. There are certain traits associated with both personality types that can present both advantages and challenges to the life of a Christ-follower. In this article, we'll address how introversion can affect an individual spiritually.
Typically, a person with introverted tendencies leans toward being quiet and reserved. They are often thought of as shy and introspective. They may be super creative and interested in making art through drawing or writing. They may enjoy the company of a book or movie over the company of people. Introverts may be intentionally limiting about who they choose for friends and prefer to have a few deeper friendships rather than a lot of acquaintances. While an introverted person may enjoy socializing, such events can drain their energy. An introverted person may need alone time to recharge.
Introverts are often accused of isolating themselves too much. There is nothing wrong with isolating oneself sometimes—especially if you are particularly drained or socially tired. Jesus was known to withdraw from others and spend time alone with God. (See Luke 5.) Healthy practices of being alone are totally OK. However, if isolation is consistently being used as an unhealthy coping mechanism for depression, anxiety, or fear, then it may be time to seek help through a trusted friend, family member, or a mental health professional.
Because a person with introverted tendencies enjoys being alone and can often focus inwardly for long periods of time, they may have an easier time being still before the Lord (John 16:33). Introverts may enjoy spending time at Jesus’ feet and reflecting on Scripture. Being able to regularly practice meditation on God's Word and quiet prayer can be a huge advantage in developing one’s relationship with God.
God wants all His children to serve Him by loving others and using the gifts He has given them (John 13:34; 1 Peter 4:10). As the introverted Christian matures in their faith, they can grow into a great servant of God as a Bible teacher, counselor, or mighty prayer warrior.
Getting out of our comfort zones is an important part of serving God. Introverts may struggle with sharing their faith with strangers or in a large group of friends. They may have a hard time speaking up when personal spiritual matters are the topic of conversation. If this is the case, a believer can always ask for strength and courage through Christ (Philippians 4:13). God is most glorified in our weaknesses, and we can be reminded of this truth when God is calling us out of our comfort zones (2 Corinthians 2:9).
Because introversion typically leads to a lot of self-reflection, an introvert may become overly judgmental of themselves and others. These judgments can feed unhealthy mindsets, poor self-image, and decreased mental health. Colossians 3:2 encourages us to set our minds on "things that are above, not on things that are on earth." That means that we choose NOT to dwell on thoughts that are harmful to our hearts and minds but rather on seeking help in the Lord when we find ourselves dwelling in dark places.
All children of God are beautiful beings created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27)—regardless of their personality types and tendencies. We ought to place others' interests above our own while also realizing that we are just as valuable to God as anyone else (Philippians 2:3; Romans 12:3). We ought to practice humility, kindness, and love, and it's OK to desire the same in return.
As C.S. Lewis states in Mere Christianity, “There are no ordinary people.” You—all your quirks, personality traits, and appearance—are a unique creation of God and not ordinary! God wants you to use your unique talents and spiritual gifts to share Christ with others and bring His love and compassion into a hurting world.
Being a Christian with introverted tendencies is not wrong or sinful. Introversion is simply a part of one's personality traits and poses both advantages and challenges to the Christian life. Introverts tend to be better at focused meditation on God's Word and quiet prayer. Introverts may wish to avoid sharing their faith or being in groups where they may have to speak up. Regardless of these advantages and challenges, God has uniquely created each person in His Image (Genesis 1:27). A person with introverted tendencies can find many opportunities follow Christ and serve God in their own way.
Vivian loves learning, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She is dedicated to helping people learn more about Jesus and is ready to help in any way she can. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, cooking, drawing, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, you can find her soaking up the sunshine or going on an adventure.
Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two teenage kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.