Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Titus 2 for the introvert

True confession. Titus 2:3-5 scares me.

There are so many expectations wrapped around these verses. We have different thoughts on what should be taught, how it is taught, and the criteria for older vs. younger women. This passage can seem daunting because we are accountable to God for our influence on others. Also, a qualified older woman still needs to earn the trust of those she wants to help. On top of that, let's throw personality into the mix. I know someone who could walk right up to another sister and say, "I want you to disciple me," and may her tribe increase. But for us introverts...

Being with a few, very few friends is much safer. In fact, being a shut-in doesn't seem too bad every now and then. Also building trust takes longer because an introvert's walls can be pretty thick. I remember when I was a new mom and a well-meaning but rather persistent woman swooped down to take me under her wing. We were on a casual I-know-your-name-enough-to-say-hi basis but nothing more. I didn't like the pressure and felt overwhelmed. After a few more swoops, I got scared and ran, and if I'm honest, maybe I'm still running. But the Apostle Paul never wrote an exception clause for introverts. We don't get a personality pass when it comes to being built into the local church. But maybe there's a different way to look at discipleship, mentoring, Titus 2-ing, whatever your preferred descriptor is. At its most basic level, it's friendship, and perhaps this is the place to start.

As I contemplate tearing down the walls and reaching out above and beyond official meetings, being a friend takes the pressure off. I may be an older woman chronologically, but that doesn't mean I have to have all the answers, which is a scary thought indeed. Friendship is mutual sharing and encouragement in the Lord. Friendship isn't a duty but the result of loving God and letting that love spill over to one another as we live life together in the body of Christ.

This isn't meant to be a critique of how you approach Titus 2. Rather this is a long overdue kick-in-the-pants to get me out of my rut. If you're like me, I hope you will be encouraged to go up to another sister who may be as introverted as you and say, "I'd like to be your friend."

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