It’s an odd feeling when you’re whole life you’ve relished “alone time.”
But then God steps in and starts changing things. Now “alone time” becomes an opportunity for loneliness. Not in a bad way, just oddness that is hard to explain in other words… That I really do miss being around other people.
In the world of introvert/extrovert… I found myself at once relishing introversion. Oftentimes that memory seems distant now. Something happened.
I’m not a people person, really. But somewhere in that, I know that idea is now fluid, too. Because I want to be around others intentionally. I even want to be purposeful toward them.
Like… Wut is THAT?
I can recall asking God to let me see people like He does. I asked to love them like He does. I deeply understood the flippancy in uttering these words to God. I even asked Him to not let that request be lip service. The memory is that vivid.
John teaches us in his second epistle that we ought to love each other. He says this is a command of God. I would tell you, a command given by God to us is both intentional and purposeful. It is He demonstrating that same intention and purpose toward us.
Additionally, we know that love is purposeful and intentional. (It would make sense because God is love.) Love isn’t something that just happens to us. It’s not something we fall into. It is not something that just goes away. Love is so much more than just an emotional feeling or ethereal concept. Love is action. Love is an act of will.
Love suffers long and is kind; love envies not; love flaunts not itself and is not puffed up, does not behave itself improperly, seeks not its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4–7 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)
The words that follow that are “Love never fails.” God’s love toward us is all of those things. He never fails us.
We ought to have that same love toward others, even if they fail us. The love we have for them is not about us.
If what we had toward them fails, is it really love?
If John says that we ought to love each other (2 John 5,) then wouldn’t it follow this is the character of a mature believer?
If that is the character of a mature believer, then intentionality and purposefulness are also the character traits of a mature believer. It then follows that a mature believer is going to be to some extent… Extroverted. So being alone now is different for me. It’s energy-depleting. (I did italicize that. Some will know why.)
You cannot out-give God. Ask Him to do things, He’ll do more than you can comprehend. Be intentional. Find someone new and introduce yourself. Be purposeful, learn their name, and something about them.
I am still learning. And I fail often. But…
To live for Jesus is the greatest adventure!