I have a mental list of friends who need a phone call, a letter or a lunch date. But I also hate making phone calls, so I procrastinate. I go to bed at night feeling guilty about the calls I didn’t make, and get up in the morning determined to do it today, but there is always an excuse.
It’s too early to call anyone.
I have to clean my house or run some errands.
I don’t feel like it now; I’ll call later.
Then night comes and the whole cycle repeats.
I could shrug it off because I’m an introvert. I’m happiest at home with a good book so I don’t care if people call me. But God puts people on my heart. I gladly pray for them, and sometimes I send them an e-mail or post on their Facebook wall. But I don’t call them. My friends know I love them because of my attitude. I’m usually patient and kind and I try not to gossip. But the book of James makes it clear that loving others requires action.
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” (James 2:14 NLT)
So what’s an introvert to do?
James goes on to say that if you have faith you will feed and clothe your hungry and cold brother. But what if your sister is lonely? If you have faith you’ll spend some time with her. If she’s grieving, you’ll cry with her. If she’s stressed, you’ll offer her a helping hand.
An introvert with faith will love her neighbors.
In fact, faith is the motivator for acts of love. I can reach out in friendship if I’m motivated by faith. But I need to start my day with God, letting Him reaffirm His love for me and His instructions to me. Then I need to listen when His Spirit reminds me to act. I need to stop and pray and then I have to be obedient and make that phone call right then.
Today I called a friend. I’d promised to call her weeks ago but I procrastinated, as usual. I wasn't sure what I would say to her or if I should make plans to see her. It would have been easier not to pick up the phone. But she just wanted to talk. She told me about her day. She told me about a relative she’s worried about and what she’s doing about it. And she told me how much she misses her husband who’s been gone for three years.
She was happy to have a friend call. I didn’t have to do anything but dial the phone. But first I had to listen to the Holy Spirit when He reminded me about my promise to call. Then I had to actually do it and not put it off.
Even an introvert can be a friend.