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Generosity and the Christian Introvert

January 14, 2014

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I think I’ve mentioned this before, but our Church is the biggest blessing here in Minneapolis. We were fortunate to find a church home relatively soon after moving to our new city and were thrilled to find ourselves among a group of young couples and families with similar values. Plus, our pastor is really big on the congregation getting together to eat as a way of connecting. It was made to be!

We’re in the middle of a sermon series about generosity, and it’s really got me thinking about how I do and do not display generosity in my own life. Truthfully, God’s been opening my eyes to the lack of generosity I display in my life on a daily basis.

When I first heard we were going to talk about generosity, I immediately thought it would be strictly about how we manage our finances. And, to some degree, it has been about money, but it’s also been about how generous we are with our time and energy. The deeper I dig, the more I realize that almost all of the decisions I make are directly related to how they will impact me and my family. I juggle my social calendar based on what I feel like doing, I save money because I want to take a vacation later in the year, and sometimes I give of my time because I feel that it’s what I should do.

I never really loved college because I hadn’t come to peace with the fact that, in many ways, I’m an introvert. Instead, I spent a lot of time trying to force myself to be an extrovert, only to wonder why I was so unhappy. Once I came to peace with the fact that I needed to say no to some things in order to recharge and have something to give, I became a much happier, more balanced person. But sometimes, I think I can use the introvert card as a crutch.

In the Christian community, I feel like there is a high premium placed on those who are extroverts. (Side note: My friend Kayla has a fantastic post on her blog about this very topic.) They’re the ones who find it easy to strike up random conversations with strangers and share their faith. They volunteer for lots of activities and give of their time to no end.

I know that I have a limited capacity before I burn out and feel tried, drained and overwhelmed. Without sufficient alone time, quiet moments and time just being with my husband at home, I become a different person. Obviously I know God made me this way. He created me in this way for a reason, and I celebrate that. But what does that look like for my faith walk and the way I’m generous and giving of my time and resources?

I’m not sure there is a cut and dried answer to this question, and I certainly don’t have it figured out yet. I’m mulling it over and chewing on it and praying about the best ways to invest my time.

Other introverts, do you have any advice or wisdom to share from your own experiences? I would love to hear them! 
Madison

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