As much as I enjoy speaking in front of large crowds, I’m very much an introvert. Being around a lot of people drains the energy from me like Kryptonite. Conversely, spending extended periods of time alone reenergizes me like our yellow sun powers Superman. I haven’t had a lot of time to myself this week, mostly because I spent time with friends and family every day this past holiday weekend. Now I’m hoping to find a day to be by myself or at least just hang out with Alycia and Clara.
Here are some Old Testament introverts with whom I can identify.
Moses seems like the prototypical introvert. He doesn’t enjoy speaking in front of large crowds and he spent most of his time hanging out alone with sheep. There are few things I enjoy as much as hanging out with my dog. Moses came out of his shell enough to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but after that much time around people he needed 40 days on Mount Sinai by himself to recover. I would love to get away to the mountains for a few days after spending a lot of time around people, especially if I got to meet with God face-to-face.
Sometimes my introverted tendencies lead me to judge others or push them away. Perhaps David’s wife, Michal, had the same problem. Whenever I’m at a wedding I stare at people on the dance floor and wonder how they could enjoy being surrounded by people sweating, moving and gyrating. I don’t judge them and belittle them for their choices, but maybe I would on a bad day. Michal must have been having a bad day when she condemned David for his undignified dancing, for shaking his bathing suit area for everyone to see. Michal allowed her introversion to poison her heart. Whether we’re introverted or extroverted, we need to accept that people are different.
Jeremiah had one of the toughest assignments for an introvert. Not only did he have to constantly talk to people, but he also had to tell them that God was going to send them into exile. I’m not a huge fan of talking to strangers or conflict; I would absolutely hate receiving Jeremiah’s call. And it’s not like Jeremiah eventually received a pat on the back for his doom and gloom prophecies. Nope, he was constantly beat up and at one point thrown into a well. At least at the bottom of the well he would have had some time to himself.
At least us introverts are in good company. I’d happily spend some time with Moses and Jeremiah as long as we had some time to recover after our long conversations. So much of our personalities are impacted by our introversion or extroversion; it’s important to understand ourselves so we can better understand others. And if we ever wish we were a little more like someone else, we need to trust that God created us exactly as we were intended to be.
Who are some other Old Testament introverts?