If I really think about it, all my life I have felt less a Christian because I am not a social person. I never have been, but the older I get the less I want to do with others in person.
When I was a little girl (back in the 1960s) my mother taught Sunday School. After our lesson and our snack we were often taken outside to play simple games. I always begged off having to join in the games. I was so much happier just watching the other children play. Analyzing this as an adult I think that maybe part of the reason was because it was safer. If I didn't play I wouldn't get hurt. I wouldn't lose or cause my team to lose. I wouldn't make any mistakes. I wouldn't be ostracized or laughed at. I wouldn't have to interact and could just enjoy spectating from afar.
In my adult life I've been involved in church, taught Children's Sunday School, and been in groups etc... largely because this was what was expected. But it was never something I looked forward to or enjoyed. Oddly enough, if you met me you would never guess that I have these feelings. I am warm, talkative, and people feel comfortable around me. I've been told by others that they wish they were as capable of expressing themselves etc... I can do it - I just don't like it. What those people who compliment me on my ability to talk to others don't know is that it is all a result of nerves. If I am forced into closeness with someone and feel that conversation is expected I will converse out of nervousness. Silence in close proximity with one person is uncomfortable so I speak up, not because I have any genuine interest in communicating, but simply because the silence is so uncomfortable that I have to break it. When its all over I breath a sigh of relief and feel like I've climbed up and over Everest.
When I taught I'd feel good after I'd done it but equal to that was the relief that it was over and there were six whole days before I'd be subjected to the experience again. And I would then feel guilty that I didn't seem to love people or enjoy ministering. I would feel terrible because all I could think of was getting home, back to where I was comfortable. Lol, I could never be a salesman. I hate competition and will not do anything competitive. Shamefully I always look to take the easiest route when it comes to social situations.
I love to pray. I love to read and study. If it was just God and me I had to concern myself with I'd be fine. But Christianity calls for sharing your faith, evangelizing, fellowship, not forsaking gathering together (probably my biggest sin unless online chatrooms count) I love you guys but I don't want to delve into a personal relationship face to face. I am tickled pink to have snail mail pen pals and delve in deep in that medium. I'm a great friend that way. I can join in online and feel fantastic about that. But I don't like face to face or phones. I never pick up the phone unless its work, my husband, my best friend (only in person friend), or one of my children. I will confess to looking at the caller ID and seeing its my sister-in-law and not picking up just because I don't want to be involved in a long, drawn out, conversation about a million things that aren't important to me. Boy that sounds selfish doesn't it? I guess it is... But I'm trying to be honest about who I am and what I feel. I am praying that God change me and help me to love people and be comfortable with them in realtime situations if that is what I have to be.
My Mom was such a saint (she went to be with the Lord January 7, 2003) and she reached out to people, everyone. She had a heart for other people and she believed so strongly. With my own personality I have always struggled to see how I could ever measure up to her. She used to tell me that I'd change one day. She told me she used to be like I am and over time as she got older she really enjoyed being with other people. Ummm, I'm 50 now and its not getting any better. In fact its getting worse.
I know I have a problem with low self esteem and maybe that's a separate issue, but it doesn't help.
I pray for others. I seek to live as the Lord wants me to. I serve my family, but otherwise keep mostly to myself unless its online or snail mail penpalling.
How can I be myself and the sort of Christian everyone expects me to be?