As an Introverted Believer I tend to struggle with developing my sense of community at work, at church and in public. I display my Introvert Sign as a badge of honor.
I came across Colossians 3:13 the other day and it starts out commanding us to bear one another. I prayed on the word BEAR, journaled about it and sought to find how exactly I could apply it to my daily life.
The act of bearing means we should carry, support and hold up. It takes work and insinuates we might even have to grab the nearest neighbor to lift up the third party together.
Trouble is, we typically don’t care to show up to the party to begin with.
Relationships produce stumbling blocks and frankly, we usually wish to avoid conflict, not because we shy from it, but because we would rather reserve our energy for other things. Jesus knows this about it us yet did not exempt us from the rules. He instructs everyone in verse 13 that if we have a complaint against each other, we should bear one another and forgive each other, like He forgave us.
But it's peopley out there!
Yes, yes it is. But being an Introvert doesn’t mean we turn to vampires when people show up in our lives. We do need to be cognizant of HOW we resolve conflict with each other so we use our energy in an efficient way while serving in obedience.
Introverted Thinkers (Ti) and Introverted Feelers (Fi) handle conflict very differently.
Introverted Thinkers want the facts to make a logical and objective decision regardless of the outcome for people involved.
Introverted Feelers want to understand the value sets behind an action in order draw conclusions that are best for everyone involved.
A simple example in the workplace involves the employee handbook or policy manual. For Thinkers, the policies are synonymous with rules, should be obeyed and when broken, consequences follow. For Feelers, the policies are guidelines with rounded edges and dynamic interpretations based on the situation.
A Thinking Manager will expect accountability with corrective consequences, whereas a Feeling Manager will expect accountability with a harmonious outcome.
To bear one another, both managers will need to use their individual traits to carry the others’ in a positive way. Instead of assigning a negative connotation to our opposites traits, we find ways we compliment each other.
Thinkers might be more impersonal, but they are not unemotional. They value fairness and Feelers can help Thinkers translate emotions into information that helps Thinkers draw logical conclusions.
Feelers might be empathetic, but they are not aloof. Feelers value individuality and Thinkers can help Feelers translate how facts impact decisions that affect people, thus appealing to their compassionate side.
Working together in such a way, Thinkers and Feelers carry each other, support the others’ perspective, and hold up the other in times of crisis, rather than assign divisive attributes and claims. This goes against Jesus’ teachings and he didn’t give Introverts an ‘out.’
Bearing one another means we are vested in figuring out how we’ll work best together. When we’re not at our best, we gossip and complain, but as Introverted Believers, we are called to listen and forgive. And it’s not exactly a suggestion.
Do you find yourself in conflict with someone on the opposite side of the scale? What negative attributes are you assigning that might be misconstrued? What will you do to work on bearing your brother or sister in Christ? How open is your heart so they may bear you? Join the conversation below.