Being an introvert does not have to limit your spirituality, yet many introverts do feel some discomfort with spiritual activities. This post will look at why this is, from my own experiences and observations. I hope it will be of some use to you wherever you are with your faith journey, however it looks.
I’m a Christian and my faith is important to me, but I struggle all of the time with what this actually means for my life in a practical way. At least part of this has to do with the social aspects of Christianity, when it comes to connecting with others at church and church activities.
Here’s the thing. I often don’t feel comfortable praying on command out loud in front of a group of people. And if I’m at a bible study and don’t have anything to say on a topic or haven’t formulated an opinion yet, I’m just going to sit there awkwardly.
Everyone can have a unique way of connecting with God, and it can at times be easy to get caught up with how the more outgoing people express that. Me, I connect with God best while I’m out in the community, living out Jesus’ teaching to serve the least, the poor and hungry and sick. I’m not much of a talker; I’m a listener and a doer.
I know that it’s important to connect with others who have the same core beliefs, to learn from them so you can grow in understanding and faith… but that doesn’t change the fact that I feel awkward and like I’m not “spiritual” enough. I have definitely felt a pressure to be more outwardly spiritual, whether the pressure was intended or not. Maybe I just have a unique perspective because I grew up somewhat in the Catholic church, where everything is ordered and quiet, and now I’m aligned with the Protestant side of things, where everything is more “anything goes.”
Of course, I also know that many people in any church would understand that introverts who prefer to stay quiet can have very strong faith lives still. The pressure to conform outwardly is a feeling I get in only some situations, and I’m sure other quieter folks have experienced it too.
It’s so important to figure out what you believe in, why you believe it, and what this means for how you live your life. Don’t just look at what others do and accept that that’s the only way to do it–you can make it work in a way that makes sense for you with your unique personality and talents. There’s space for everyone.