Standing Alone (Psalm 12)

Psalm 12

Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
    the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
They utter lies to each other;
    with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
    the tongue that makes great boasts,
those who say, “With our tongues we will prevail;
    our lips are our own—who is our master?”

“Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
    I will now rise up,” says the Lord;
    “I will place them in the safety for which they long.”
The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,
    silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
    purified seven times.

You, O Lord, will protect us;
    you will guard us from this generation forever.
On every side the wicked prowl,
    as vileness is exalted among humankind. (Psalm 12:1-8, Common English Bible).

I am the quintessential extrovert. I do not like being alone. I can do it, but I really prefer being around other people, at least most of the time. There have been many days during my years in ministry that Cindy would come home from work and I would say, “Don’t get comfortable. Let’s go walk around the mall.” You can substitute “the mall” for something else but on those days, I need to be around people.

We often think being an introvert means you really don’t want to talk, your quiet, shy, the list could go on. On the other hand extroverts like me are loud, in your face, and we want to talk to everybody.

While those characteristics and others, are often present, that is not the definition of introvert or extrovert a seminary professor gave us while I was in school.

According to the good professor, it is a matter of, where do you get your energy. If being in a crowd of people, regardless of whether the group is loud or quiet, if you are an extrovert, you thrive, at least most of the time because you are around other people.

An extrovert gets energy from people and being alone saps his or her strength. Extroverts are in crowded places that may be quiet but the extrovert still gains energy from it. For an extrovert college student, the scene may be a quiet in a lecture hall full of students and then be the life of the frat party. He or she will thrive in both environments.

Obviously, the opposite applies to introverts. They might tell me, “Go home and call me on the phone.” They don’t want to be in a crowd. It is easier to deal with loud-mouthed me, without have to deal with the people around me.

We really don’t know if the psalmist was an introvert or an extrovert. The psalm is credited to David. I think he was most likely an introvert. What we do know for sure is, based on Scripture, David spent significant time alone. As a boy he was a shepherd, quite possibly the definition of a loner. When he was older he was always having to look over his shoulder. In fear for his life David had to hide from Saul. As for David’s life after Saul, the old cliche, “It’s lonely at the top fits well.

There are extroverts in the Bible. Peter is that loud in your face kind of guy. He was always ready to jump feet first to an action. I can’t think of a single time that Peter was alone.

Anyone in either case can be a Christian and be an introvert or an extrovert. It is really about people.

I think David would tell us one more thing. I found several quotes about standing alone but I am going to only share one with you today: “Stand up for what is right even if it means standing alone,”

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, all rights reserved
Permission is granted, for the non-commercial use of this post

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