Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
I feel as though the whole world and their mothers know that I’m an introvert. I’m an extreme introvert, in fact. I could very happily move to a deserted island with my husband and live contently for the rest of my life (- or so I like to think). My whole life has been a battle of wanting desperately to stay indoors by myself, surrounded by books and journals, and being forced to get out there and make/maintain friends. It’s not because I don’t like people – I love my friends and family. I love making new friends. It’s because when I spend my time with people, I love to give them every little aspect of myself in that moment and that drains me. A few hours socialising with people ( particularly people I don’t know too well) leaves me feeling tired, drained and deflated.
Thankfully for me, I haven’t succeeded in isolating myself completely. Despite my potentially lonely writing career (which I love so much), my life in the church keeps me grounded. Serving each week and being connected within such a large, people-loving church maintains my character. The people in my life, including the new people I meet each week, help to sharpen me.
God didn’t create us with the intention of us living isolated and alone. His best for each of us isn’t to have no friends or no social life. He wants us connected so that we can sharpen one another. He wants us to be connect with a wide range of people too – those who are in the church and those who aren’t.
Of course, He created different personality types – including those who prefer being alone more often (i.e, me). But as followers of Christ, we have to find a healthy balance. A balance that includes charging our batteries and finding alone time with God yet also being connected and open with others. We need to have the right people in our life who can sharpen us.