Jump directly to the content
Extroverts and Introverts in the Body of ChristChristopher May / Flickr

Extroverts and Introverts in the Body of Christ


Jan 13 2014
Learning from our obsession with personality types.

As Christians our response is two-fold. On the one hand, we should be the first to welcome all personality types into the body of Christ and into the service of the church. God doesn't play favorites with any one personality. He created them all. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 reminds us that the body of Christ would be woefully incomplete if one member suddenly stopped working and serving. This goes for extroverts and introverts alike.

But there is another response to our sudden obsession with personalities. As much as we may identify with the character traits of our personality type, we must also recognize our limitations and seek balance within our personality.

For the extrovert, while you may not like it much, silence and solitude is a necessary part of the Christian life. Many times we have to force ourselves to remove the noise of our own making in order to meet with God. It takes effort. For the introvert, you may have the silence and solitude thing down, but you're also called to enter into the lives of those around you for discipleship and fellowship. Each will have to at some point learn to move a little bit more towards the other, both in understanding and in practice.

Jesus perfectly embodied both types of personalities. He knew when to withdraw from people and he knew when to move towards them. He knew when to step back and pray and he knew when to move forward and heal. He knew when to talk and he knew when to listen.

So while our culture will ever be debating the merits of the sanguine, melancholy, ENFJ, INTJ, and the like we can rest in the fact that though they might be helpful in showing us a little bit more about ourselves, they aren't exhaustive and they aren't a hierarchy. One does not hold power over the other. We can trust that in the body of Christ every hand, foot, eye, or mouth is needed.

Related Topics:Psychology
Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Comments

To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.

orSubscribeor
More from Her.menutics
The Universal Call to ‘Mothering Like Christ’

The Universal Call to ‘Mothering Like Christ’

Childbirth illustrates the life-giving sacrifice of body, mind, and soul that applies to us all.
Don’t Call Me the Best Mom Ever

Don’t Call Me the Best Mom Ever

Why it's time for Mother's Day to retreat from the extremes.
I Forgave My Teen Daughter’s Killer

I Forgave My Teen Daughter’s Killer

The gospel taught me that forgiveness is not a pardon.
Why We Want to Return to Stars Hollow

Why We Want to Return to Stars Hollow

The weirdest part of the Gilmore Girls hometown? How they did community right.
Include results from Christianity Today
Browse Archives:

So Hot Right Now

My Son’s Autism Changed Everything—Even Our Church

I came to see special needs families as an unreached people group.

Twitter

  • RT @michellevanloon: A sneak peak at #MomentsAndDays: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith! https://t.co/LKGxysHZc8 @NavPress https://2026
  • RT @KatelynBeaty: Sarah Arthur's (@HolyDreaming) "Top 10 Tips for Getting It Done" ("it" = "all the writing") belongs on your wall: https:/2026
  • "Partnering with God to nurture others extends beyond biological parenting" https://t.co/LkbJyaavGp
  • The gender gap is more powerful than the God gap for a Trump/Clinton election https://t.co/jWa6DWvg62
  • The experience of labor and mothering, in their reflection of the incarnation, reflect a life we're all called to https://t.co/LkbJyaavGp


What We're Reading

CT eBooks and Bible Studies

Christianity Today
Extroverts and Introverts in the Body of Christ