I need to start up with two honest confessions:
1. I am an introvert
2. I do not believe that I’m just a victim of introversion
This article is not just for introverts, so please do not skip this just because of the title and intro. I am, however, first going to address something that introverts primarily struggle with, but I think that everyone will wrestle with this at some point in their lives.
As Christians we need to be seeking healthy fellowship opportunities. I know that this week we are talking about accountability, so this article probably seems out of place. However, it is essential not just that we have close, trustworthy accountability partners, but also that we have fellowship with other believers. This comes from situations such as church events and social events with other Christians.
To be quite honest, this is an incredible struggle for me. I like to connect with people deeply or not at all. So I have a few very close friends who I have let the “wall” down for, but for everyone else, if I don’t click with them I typically struggle to have any type of interaction with them. Here is a truth that I am learning:
You will not connect deeply with every believer.
We are called to love one another, not connect with one another. The difference between love and connection is that love is one-sided, while connection is two-sided. Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:46)
It is hard to love those who do not love you in return. However, we are still called to love others. Beyond that though, and into the true topic of this article, there can be no connection without love. Connection is love on both sides. So while we will not connect deeply with every believer, there are some that we will connect with. We will have those iron-sharpening-iron relationships, we will have fellowship with other believers, but without love, we will not have fellowship with other believers, which is a central part of our walk. It is a way that God supplies us with strength to continue our race of faith.
As an introvert, I struggle with finding fellowship opportunities and actually working hard to love others, even if they do not love me in return. Extroverts will struggle with this too—perhaps they may struggle more with finding the RIGHT fellowship opportunities. So while it is great and essential for us to form those solid accountability relationships that we have been talking about all week, we also cannot just love those who love us in return. We need to seek fellowship opportunities in which we can love others and not expect something in return.