Monday, April 12, 2010

Introverts in the church - pt. 4

Chapter 3 of Adam McHugh's book Introverts in the Church deals with the topic of "Finding Healing." Some of the highlights I underlined in this chapter are:
  • p. 48 - On struggling to come to grips with introversion in an extrovert culture, his friend Veronica says, "I'd like to think that the work of God might be displayed through my introversion, and not in spite of it." Agreed.
  • p. 48 - "In an introverted culture, introverts can become the silent screens onto which others project their insecurities. Others may regard our quietness as arrogance, or they may interpret our tendency to observe in social situations as condescension. Some consider us to be silently judging them or storing up material for criticizing them. Sometimes they will view us as angry or contemptuous." Yeah... and sometimes I even do that myself.
  • p. 50 - "While extroverts commonly feel loneliness when others are absent, introverts can feel most lonely when others are present, because ours is the aching loneliness of not being known or understood." Wow... I honestly thought I was the only one who felt like this.
  • p. 53 - "Introversion and shyness are not synonymous. Introversion is a natural personality trait where we go inside ourselves to process our experiences. Shyness, on the other hand, is a condition marked by fear or extreme anxiety in social situations." (it is common for introverts to struggle with shyness though).
  • p. 55 - "I do think introverts have significant gifts, but I do not think healing originates from understanding our gifts. I am convinced that true healing ultimately comes from the outside; it comes as an act of hospitality, as we respond to and welcome the indwelling presence of the Creator God who "formed my inward parts" (Ps. 139:13). Our healing prescription begins not in exploring the nature of our introversion, as important as that is; our healing comes in probing the depths of God's nature and discovering the identity and purpose he gives us. Our heavenly Father knows us even more intimately than we know ourselves. He sees us with perfect clarity and is able to speak into those parts of ourselves that no one else can reach. Our hope is in his work of freeing us from the false ways we identify ourselves and conforming us to the nature of his Son. We cannot find freedom in our introversion until we embrace our primary identities as sons and daughters of God."
  • p. 56 ff - Interesting story about Jesus dealing with the woman "bent over and unable to stand up straight" in Luke 13.
  • p. 59 - "So even though I disagree with Freud's equation of introversion and narcissism, I do believe that introverts are susceptible to an unhealthy degree of self-preoccupation." In other words, we do need to "journey outward" more.
  • p. 61 - "Extroverts who have learned how to gently draw out the opinions of introverts and who give us the space to think quietly are truly God's grace to us." Amen, amen, amen, and amen!