This post is for those of you (and only those of you) who are Christians, are involved at church, and are on the quieter side. People view you as introverted, and you’ve often been described as “quiet.” At small group Bible study or any group setting, you’re the one who sits there and rarely says anything (even though you might have a bunch of thoughts running through your head).
Ephesians 4:15 says that we who are Christian believers are to be “speaking the truth in love.” Most of the time, the point we make from this verse is that when we speak truth to others, we must do so out of love rather than out of hate, anger, or whatever other motivation there might be to speak truth to others. That’s all certainly true, but the point that’s usually overlooked is that in order to speak the truth in love, you have to speak! It’s impossible to speak truth in love if you never speak in the first place. In other words, if you never say anything, you’re in rebellion against this verse and are in sin. Similarly, Ephesians 4:25 commands, “…speak truth each one of you with his neighbor.” Again, if you don’t speak, you can’t speak truth.
Looking at another verse, Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment.” Usually the point derived from this verse is that Christians shouldn’t curse, tell dirty jokes, and such. That’s all obvious, but the point typically overlooked is that this verse commands that we speak words that edify others. In order to speak words that edify others, you have to speak!
In other words, it doesn’t matter how introverted you are, how scared you are to say something in a group setting, what your family background and upbringing are like, and so on. If God gave you a mouth, functioning vocal cords, and the ability to speak words, then you have to speak.
Besides the biblical commands above, there are various practical reasons to not be so quiet when you’re in a group Christian setting (such as at church, Bible study, and so on):
- There are few things more frustrating to a Bible study discussion leader than quiet people. The leader had prepared for the discussion, asks a question, but only gets a blank stare from you instead of a thoughtful response (or any response at all).
- If you’re too quiet, you’ll probably eventually provoke suspicion on the part of others, including your leaders. People may wonder whether you’re even a Christian at all. (“Why doesn’t she ever talk at Bible study? Maybe she has no idea what we’re talking about. Maybe she isn’t even a real Christian. Or maybe she disagrees with everything I’m teaching here and is just trying to politely avoid having to say so.”)
- You’ll be a bigger blessing to the believers around you rather than someone who just sits there consuming oxygen (and depending on the group, perhaps chips and dip).
Start speaking up! 🙂