Obstacles To Hospitality: Introverted Personality | Part 7

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My husband is an extrovert. I am an introvert. 

He is refreshed by spending time with other people; I am rejuvenated by time alone.

He works better with music playing; I need silence to concentrate. 

He prefers talking; I’d rather write.

He loves to plan adventures; I am perfectly content to stay home.

He enjoys career changes; I love predictability and thrive on routine.

He is naturally hospitable.

Me?

I am most definitely not cut out for it. 

Somewhere along the way, I guess I assumed that being an introvert excused me from hospitality. I thought of hospitality as a spiritual gift, something that certain people have, and others, like me, don’t.

The Gospel Comes With A House Key challenged me to the core when Rosaria presented hospitality as a command. It didn’t matter whether I was good at it or not; obedience leaves no room for excuses.

There are wives and mothers who are far more capable in those roles than I am, but that doesn’t abdicate my personal responsibility in those things. I am totally dependent on the Holy Spirit’s help to obey God’s directives to me as a wife and mother, just as I am dependent on His grace to do other hard things – like opening our home. 

“We introverts miss out on great blessings when we excuse ourselves from practicing hospitality because it exhausts us. I often find people exhausting. But over the years I have learned how to pace myself, how to prepare for the private time necessary to recharge, and how to grow in discomfort. Knowing your personality and your sensitivities does not excuse you from ministry. It means that you need to prepare for it differently than others might.” – Rosaria Butterfield, The Gospel Comes with a House Key

So how does an introvert prepare for hospitality?

Here are five things that help me. 

Talk to yourself

It’s not about you. It’s not about you. It’s not about you. 

This is something I repeat over and over to myself when I am tempted to forgo hospitality because it interferes with my personal comfort.

Remembering that the goal of building relationships with other people is to reach them with the Gospel helps redirect my focus.

When I see people as souls instead of bodies, the pressure to perform fades away, because Jesus doesn’t NEED me to give them what only He can. He has chosen to use weak and foolish means to make His glory and salvation known, precisely so we can’t boast in our own abilities!

“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9

Set Simple Goals

  • Speak to one stranger a day.
  • Invite one family or person to dinner a week.
  • Make and deliver one meal a month.
  • Write and mail a letter to an elderly person every Monday.

While hospitality is something that comes from the heart, and not a thing you check off your list, setting simple goals and making them habits help me keep practicing  the things I naturally look for an excuse to avoid. 

Drop your label

I am never motivated to reach out to other people when I dwell on my personality type.

“I can’t do this because I’m an introvert,” discards this wonderful invitation the Lord gives us in Hebrews 4:16: 

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Good things are usually hard. {Introverts} are more than conquerors through him that loved {them}. (Romans 8: 37)

Don’t Go It Alone 

I can count on my extroverted husband to break the ice and carry on a conversation with anyone, but if you don’t have that gift, I imagine an outgoing friend with the same understanding of hospitality would be only too happy to engage in this ministry by your side, for the same Kingdom. 

You may also find opportunities to serve in a group setting (soup kitchen, church nursery, administrative duties for a local charity, etc.), that is able to extend their reach because of your behind the scenes involvement. Hospitality isn’t really a public role anyway. 

 “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12: 6-8

Pray

How God delights to bless His people with the strength and wisdom to do His will when they humbly look to Him for it! He is an everlasting source of help for the hospitality-challenged introvert. 

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” James 1: 5, 6a

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God…Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” James 4:6-8

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened… If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts…how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7: 7, 8, 11

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