I have a mental list of friends who need a phone call, a letter or a lunch date. But I also have an ugly phone phobia. I hate making phone calls, so I procrastinate. I go to bed at night feeling guilty about the calls I didnít make, and get up in the morning determined to do it today, but there is always an excuse.
Itís too early to call anyone.
I have to clean my house or run some errands.
I donít feel like it now; Iíll call later.
Then night comes and the whole cycle repeats.
I could shrug it off because Iím an introvert. Iím happiest at home with a good book so I donít care if people call me. But God has called me to a ministry of friendship. He puts people on my heart and I willingly pray for them, and sometimes I send them an e-mail or post on their Facebook wall. But I donít call them. My friends know I love them because I of my attitude. Iím patient, kind and I donít gossip. But the book of James makes it clear that loving others requires action.
ďWhat good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but donít show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?Ē (James 2:14 NLT)
So whatís an introvert to do?
James goes on to say that if you have faith you will feed and clothe your hungry and cold brother. But what if your sister is lonely? If you have faith youíll spend some time with her. If sheís grieving, youíll cry with her. If sheís stressed, youíll offer her a helping hand.
An introvert with faith will love her neighbors.
In fact, faith is the motivator for acts of love. I can reach out in friendship if Iím motivated by faith. But I need to start my day with God, letting Him reaffirm His love for me and His instructions to me. Then I need to listen when His Spirit reminds me to act. I need to turn to Him in prayer and then I have to be obedient and do it right then.
Today I called a new friend. I had promised to call her two weeks ago but I had procrastinated, as usual. I wondered what I would say to her and if I should invite her over or plan to go out to lunch. It would have been easier not to pick up the phone. But she just wanted to talk. She told me about her day. She told me about an aunt sheís worried about and what sheís doing about it. And she told me how much she misses her husband whoís been gone for three years.
She was just happy to have a friend call. I didnít have to do anything but dial the phone. But first I had to listen to the Holy Spirit when He reminded me about my promise to call. Then I had to actually do it and not put it off.
Even an introvert can be a friend.
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