Being an introvert makes relationship building difficult. I was reminded of this reality again last night.
My wife Jenny and I went out for dinner with another couple who has a son a couple of months older than Micah. The conversation centered around our sons. Truth be told I spent most of the evening without saying a word.
After we left I realized that I let another opportunity to build a relationship slip through my fingers. This reality perturbs me. I want to engage in the conversation, yet too often I stay on the sideline and simply listen. What makes this even worse is the fact that I had a couple of questions I wanted to ask, but I didn't because the time never seemed to be right.
While part of this inability to properly engage in a relationship flows from the fact that my personality is introverted, much of it stems from not knowing the right thing to say or knowing what questions to ask. I want to be known as the smart guy, and so one of my biggest fears is saying the wrong thing our asking a stupid question that will make me look foolish.
Fear is a life robber. It steals away the love, joy, forgiveness, and freedom that makes life worth living. When we surrender to fear we allow our lives to be stolen.
In the process fear also robs us of one of the most precious commodities of life: relationships. Relationships are life giving to us because we open ourselves up to receive the encouragement, acceptance, and love other people have to offer. Relationships are life giving because they provide a pathway for us to bless other people.
Within the context of the Kingdom of God relationships are gifts to be treasured. As stewards of the Kingdom we are to manage these relationships well so God can speak into their lives through us.
I want to encourage us to value the relationships that we have, not only because they are a blessing to us, but also because through them God can use us to bless other people. May we be good stewards of our relationships.