Introspection from an Introvert -Ten Years in Ministry

Sometimes I still doubt my call on my life. At other times that call is more certain than my own existence. Why would anyone want to use an awkward introvert like me? Because it’s just like everyone wants to tell the story through the weak. After a decade of experiencing victory, defeat, depression, joy, and much grace; I am humbled to reflect on my faithfulness. What would I put forward as worthy of consideration after ten years?

1. You are not your gift

Particularly for introverts, there is always a temptation to feel that your value, worthiness, and identity are rooted in your performance. As we see, our perceived success is the gauge of our faithfulness and our accolades become the strength to carry on. The underlying notion is that we are our gifts. In reality, we are the ones saved by grace and equipped with gifts to serve the kingdom. Our identity lies in ourselves, our value comes from the within, and our worthiness is only in his imputed righteousness. Rest in the paradox of a kingdom where you are called and gifted to do what you are utterly incapable of doing. In other words, you are not your gift.

2. Balance is essential

There are pros and cons to almost everything. For the sake of this point, lets assume that the bedrock of doctrine is not a part of this thought process. This is not a call to compromise our convictions, but to understand that rigidity in preferences is unwise. If we demand faithfulness to convictions, we are insisting things be done our way. If we demand faithfulness to preferences, we insist that things be done our way. Instead, we should let our convictions shape our preferences. Our convictions should provide the boundaries of any of our practices, but within those boundaries there should be liberty. In so doing we can achieve balance without compromise. Actually, we can more faithfully serve Christ without selfishness, with diversity, and through grace.

3. Community is not optional

Although isolationism is a simple concept to rationalize, it is difficult to live with. Allowing people into my personal life can be particularly difficult for an introvert. I occasionally experience the sensation that my emotional reserve has been physically sealed off. At times, I typically want to spend my time sitting alone with myself, either lost in my thoughts or simply playing games on my mobile phone or laptop, of course after I am assured that the game is not a scam, by reading the reviews online, very much like blackout bingo review. Many people can likely relate to that feeling. Within most of us, there is a temptation to go alone and often a preconceived notion that you are actually in it alone. However, this simply will not suffice.

4. You are in continuous desperate need of motivation

The motivation is not stale or stagnant-it is the power inside us. We need to be continuously reminded of, amazed at, surrendered to, and broken by this good news. It must not be assumed. We are not called merely to revel in the power application to others, but also to delight in the saving power of the crucified in our own lives. When we neglect our own need, we will inevitably veer off track in most areas of life. The connection is undeniable, though perhaps not always apparent.

5. Make yourself the focus

The typical person has a default assumption that they are “Me-focused” in their practices. That assumption is just untrue. We can easily shift from Me-focused to program-focused, career-focused, business-focused, or numbers-focused mindsets. This shift can manifest itself in our teaching, meetings, or overall vision, and we are usually the last to recognize it. Living in community with others will help you recognize and repent of such shifts. Meditation on the glorious self can help you avoid the subtle compromises that lead you astray.

6. Be genuine

The heart is deceitful. We are all prone to dual identities in which we put our best face forward and try to bury our prodigal. At times this masquerade can be maddening, but if we could bring ourselves into reality through confession, we might just find that grace shines through our weakness.

At Sunday spend time with yourself, as in every dimension of our existence, many of us pretend to believe we are boring. Consequently, all we can do is pretend to fun loving. As a result, our whole life is pseudo-repentance and pseudo-bliss.

A consistent life of genuine confession and repentance would do much to quell the accusations of hypocrisy against ourselves . More importantly, your desires often stem from a broken and contrite heart.

I am not amazed at my faithfulness. Our righteousness has been sufficient to cover the multitude of my life. A decade seems like a long time upon initial reflection; however, ten thousand years won’t be enough to sing our praise for the grace contained therein. We are still working on us and these points are merely a random assortment of trial by fire lessons. What are your own random lessons learned?

Chris Dunn
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