As someone who has mastered the art of introvert and awkward, I tend to keep to myself. At my current job, where I’ve been for nearly 5 years, I have no friends there. There is no one I see or interact with outside of the constraints of my profession; I never attended social events after work because I don’t fit in there. I’m completely okay with that. My friendship circle is quite small, there are only a few people here who truly know where I’ve been, where I’m going, and how I feel about it. Like most everyone else, I have trust issues.
It’s very easy for me to retreat into my shell to read, write, crochet, run, rock climb, or surf. I love my own company and am very content to be alone.
But the problem comes from this whole Christian lifestyle thing: we’re not meant to live solitary lives. We are meant to live in community with others; this means interacting, helping, listening, just spending time with someone. Jesus’s entire ministry was based on community. Yes, He spent time alone, as He needed to do – but it wasn’t His main mission. He was always talking to crowds, meeting people in homes, eating with people – both Jewish and sinners. We need to be more like Jesus. In this political climate of America (dare I say, the world?), we need to live out the mission of Jesus, not just preach to the choir in nice clothes on a Sunday, but really live it.
With my new job starting later this month, I have the opportunity to forge new relationships with my co-workers. Will I shut down like I did at this previous job? Or will I find a lifelong friend who shares my heart?
For me, it looks like this:
- Spend time with friends minimum once per week.
- Actually talk to people at church and not hide under my chair.
- Do something nice for those around me, unexpectedly.
- Be open to new friendships.