I like to be alone. It’s when I’m by myself that I feel the most relaxed and at ease. Not to say that I can’t be sociable, because I’m pretty sure that I can be, it’s just that people can be a lot of work sometimes. And not to say that I always want to be alone, because that’s not true either. What I’m trying to get at is that social interactions can be tiring and being alone is refreshing in my life, not the other way around.
So that’s where I coming from when I say that it’s tough being a relationship-focused hermit.
As Christians, we know that people are eternal beings and that the material world, even down to the most basic elements, will pass away suddenly and without warning.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”
2 Peter 3:10
Bearing this in mind, we have to conclude that human souls hold the most worth of anything we can impact for the Lord. So, God-glorifying relationships with people need to be the top priority for Christians, which is a scary thought for introverts and extroverts alike.
Introverts because that means that though their desire is to be alone they have to be intentionally people-oriented, and extroverts because it may be stressful to realize that being people-oriented is a weighty calling form the Lord and not just a preference.
So it’s Spring Break and everything in me wants to hole up my house all day and spend time alone. But then here comes the Word of God pouring out truth and convicting me to invest in other people. I mean, how can I be a living testimony that points others to Christ if there aren’t any others around?
So, I pulled up my bootstraps and did stuff. Surprisingly, I actually got pretty into it, which I think was confirmation from the Holy Spirit that He will provide for me as I try to obey. A coffee date here, a cake baked with some friends there, some video games thrown in, can’t forget crafting, and board games until midnight, why not?
And you’ll notice that none of that stuff is inherently spiritual or deep, and none of that time was spent in full on evangelism. As I’ve heard some people call it, it’s relationship evangelism, a term which basically means witnessing by cultivating the most genuine and loving connection possible so that the person sees something different, something that must be powered by more than a person.
And BAM you’ve got someone asking you about Jesus.
That’s why relationships are so important. That’s why even though being alone a lot of the time might feel nice and easy for some people, it’s not what we’re called to do.
There’s a time for everything. A time to be alone, and a time to minister to the eternal souls around you for the Kingdom of God. That’s why I need to work on limiting my hermit-time and intentionally pursue people. “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few'” (Matthew 9:37).