Every now and then, I let myself think that I’ve left behind my introverted tendencies and moved into the (seemingly) glorious land of extroverted, outgoing people—they have it so much easier, right, being able to strike up a conversation with anyone about anything? But then I find myself in a situation where that introvert makes herself known, loud and clear, where extensive small talk is required of me, and I’m down for the count for at least the next 24 hours. Regardless of how much I try to fight it, this is the blessing and curse of how I was made. One-on-one coffee? Sign me up. Headphones in when I board a plane? Absolutely. Having the house to myself for a night? Dream come true.

Enter Sammy Rhodes’s This Is Awkward: How Life’s Uncomfortable Moments Open the Door to Intimacy and Connection and his chapter on introverts. I felt like he peeked inside my brain and, as an introvert himself, acknowledged and addressed my insecurities about being an introvert, bringing such comfort in reminding me that I’m not alone in this personality battle.

For most of my life I’ve been the quiet, reserved type who has a hard time looking people in the eyes. I’ve always been suspicious of people who get a little too excited about something. Let’s call them extroverts. By the way, I’m on my fourth cup of coffee fo the day. Is this what being an extrovert feels like all the time? […]

No matter what scientists say, if you’ve seen an introvert at a party, you’ve seen a ghost. Introverts don’t get ready for a party; they gather strength for a party.

Thankfully we live in a day that is made for introverts. Headphones abound. Self-checkout lines have been invented. It’s socially acceptable to look at your phone instead of talking to people. Can you imagine being an introvert in the 1800s? Bathrooms couldn’t double as panic rooms because they were outhouses that required you to leave the comfort of the indoors, and even your horse tried to look you in the eyes. […]

“Becoming a Christian is not tantamount [to] becoming an extrovert” [Adam McHugh]. We could also add that being a Christian is not tantamount to being an extrovert, yet a casual visit to almost any Christian gathering could lead you to conclude the opposite. […]

This is the hard thing about personalities. A lot of us genuinely believe something is wrong with us because we don’t have the personality we think we want—a more talkative one, a more charming one, a more organized one, a more attractive one. Most of us feel like we have a disastrous personality. Unless you’re an ENTJ. Then you’re pretty sure everyone has a disastrous personality except you, and you have a plan to fix that. (That was another Myers-Briggs joke. I really should get some kind of referral fee.).

The beautiful thing about the gospel is that it’s personality blind. Maybe it’s better to say that it speaks to every personality. It tells Type A people to come and find rest for their wearing, workaholic souls. It tells Type B people that there is a kingdom of grace and renewal worth working and giving their lives for. It tells the strong to be weak, and the weak to be strong. It tells the loud to listen, and the quiet to speak.

The gospel is also best spoken when every personality speaks it in its own way. That means there are certain personalities only you can reach. It doesn’t mean we need to divide into different factions or districts or houses. It simply means that the gospel reflected through your personality is a beautiful thing. And if you and your disastrous personality were to stop reflecting the gospel, there would be a little less beauty in the world. This feels like a time to quote Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights: “Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t Lose.” […]

The gospel frees you to like yourself, not because you’re so great, but because Jesus loves you. More than that, he likes you. As one of my best friends once asked me, “Do you believe that Jesus doesn’t just love you, but that he likes you? You should. He does.” Jesus went to the cross because he wants you and your disastrous personality to be present with him for eternity in the new heavens and new earth. He doesn’t tolerate you in his love. He enjoys you in his like. The love of Jesus frees you to be okay with yourself.