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

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

orSubscribeor
More from Her.menutics
Dealing with ‘Gender Disappointment’

Dealing with ‘Gender Disappointment’

In the age of girl power, many of us want daughters. Here's why I’m happy either way.
Parented by Grandparents

Parented by Grandparents

The challenges of caretaking in middle age present new opportunities for outreach.
Why Women Turn to Terrorism

Why Women Turn to Terrorism

And how the church can offer a different way.
What Maternity Leave Policies Have to Do with Christian Witness

What Maternity Leave Policies Have to Do with Christian Witness

Our institutions can—and should— lead the way in supporting new life and growing families.
Include results from Christianity Today
Browse Archives:

So Hot Right Now

What Happens When We See Women Teach the Bible

A figure like Beth Moore shows evangelical women what’s possible.

What We're Reading

CT eBooks and Bible Studies

Christianity Today
Extroverts and Introverts in the Body of Christ