Today’s post comes from Radical Mentoring Executive Director Kevin Harris . . .
For those of you who don’t know me . . . I’m an introvert. According to an old Myers-Brigg test, in 1997 I was an extrovert, but I can’t really remember what that felt like so I will go with a more recent test which said I’m 65% introvert . . . either that or I’m just a good test taker.
That also feels right because when I think about how I live my life, I’ve realized the way I operate feeds my introversion . . .
- I preorder my Starbucks and wait outside, so I don’t have to engage with the other customers or the overly friendly barista.
- I order Chick-Fil-A and have them bring it to my car, so I only have to hear one “my pleasure.”
- I wear headphones in the grocery store and always keep an eye on the list on my phone instead of looking at the other shoppers.
I pretend it’s about efficiency, but in reality, my introversion becomes conversation avoidance and an excuse to ignore the people around me . . . certainly not how God designed us (see Genesis 2:18 – “it is not good for the man to be alone”). And personally, I know better. If you’ve heard my story, you know my deepest valleys came when I was isolated and alone.
Last week, I made the mistake of listening to Bob Goff’s new book Everybody Always. At the close of this book, he offers the following words . . .
“If you want to become love, stop just agreeing with Jesus . . . don’t just love the people who are easy to love; go love the difficult ones. If you do this, Jesus said you’d move forward on your journey toward being more like Him. Equally important, as you practice loving everybody, always, what will happen along the way is you’ll no longer be who you used to be. God will turn you into love.
Every time I wonder who I should love and for how long, God continues to whisper to me: Everybody, always.”
Hearing Bob read those words caused me to reevaluate my approach to how I live and how I love. At the time, I was walking around a park near my house, so I stepped outside my comfort zone and just started to high-five people as they went past me in the other direction . . . I know it was a little weird, but it was a first step in reminding me to see people as God sees them.
So, if you have to happen to be walking in a park and a random guy in a Radical Mentoring hat wants to give you a high-five . . . high-five him back.
I think Bob would approve . . . I know Jesus would.