“Hide and Seek”

It often seems as if the world is totally filled with hedonists who seek physical and social pleasures 24-7. Sprinkled in, however, are a few hermits who seek only to live in seclusion with as little contact with society as possible. On a much reduced scale are the extroverts and introverts who can focus outward or inward and still contribute a lot to their peers and society. It is ironic that some celebrities, after gaining fame and fortune in their nearly constant seeking for mass exposure, then want to hide out in a mansion with guards, dogs, fences and high-tech security to protect their privacy.

There were occasions during Jesus’ time on earth that he exhibited both his extrovert and introvert sides. He was almost constantly surrounded by huge crowds while preaching and healing. (Mk 6: 37-44) (Mk 5:31) Sometimes He and his apostles were unable to even eat due to the throngs. (Mk 6:31) He enjoyed dinner parties in the houses of Zacchaeus (Lk 19:5-7) and Simon. (Mt 26:6-7) He attended a wedding celebration in Cana, (Jo 2:1-2) and evidently ate often at the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary. (Lk 10:38-42) (Jo 11:1-3)

However, there were also instances when Jesus needed to find places of rest and solitude to better pray to the Father. (Lk 6:12) (Mt 14:23) (Mt 26:36) At such times he went up on a mountainside, into a house or got in a boat. (Mt 8:18) (Mk 6:32) Even this failed as he attempted to keep his presence secret in a house near Tyre. (Mk 7:24)

It seems that most people are a mixture of the two personality types and learn to balance them well. Jesus needed to maintain a healthy balance because his teachings even today have to appeal to extrovert and introvert alike. His choice of apostles reflect this in the
choice of Peter and Nathanael. (Jo 1:47)

In the Old Testament some did not seek leadership and even attempted to hide from God-Moses, Gideon and Jonah come to mind. They were conscripted anyway and had greatness thrust upon them. Paul is a good example in the early church of one who balanced both aspects of his personality very well. Our lesson in the church of today is that Christians can serve God by either sublimating their extrovert side or accentuating their introvert side enough to accomplish His plans.

—Jim Bailey