A Message to Extroverts Oriented to People
Written by Ebram Ayoub
31 March, 2023
Ebram is an OCCM member studying at the University of South Florida
To explain the weird title you need to know some context. There are generally 4 types of people in the world as shown in the chart below:
The chart shows the four types of temperaments, showing there are two types of categories and two choices inside them. The first category is the way someone expresses themselves whether they are Introvert or extrovert. The second category is the orientation of interests of the person, whether they are oriented toward people or tasks. All charts taken from: https://www.honingahealthyhome.com/four-temperaments/
This is a further in depth explanation of each of the 4 temperaments (note: these tend to explain why people act the way they do, but are not a justification for it as we have a rational soul that can choose to stop being jealous for melancholic, stop being stubborn for phlegmatic, etc.):
Now these four types of people are not rigid confines as our God is very creative, so it can be seen more as a spectrum as there are many types of people.
Now, why is this important? Why is it that I must know the type of person that I am and how does that relate to living with my Lord? Well King David, spoke by the Spirit in Psalm 138:14 and says “I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvelous are Your works, and my soul knows this very well.” So if David the prophet, a man who attained, in my opinion the biggest compliment one could ever receive, the honor of God saying “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22) praises God for understanding this concept that he is “fearfully and wonderfully made” then we learn that understanding ourselves is a way to get to know God.
To explain how this can be applied practically, I have to step off the scientific rails and go a bit anecdotal. There is only one thing that I’ve known and I consider a fact that can’t change – the fact that God loves me. When the world is on fire whether academically, socially, or literally this is the only thing that I know, and so with this fact I began my first semester at the University of South Florida. I walked out of High School a pretty popular guy, and I could go anywhere in the school and would have friends in any place, so it made me feel very loved and fulfilled a lot of my “innate needs” of affection and attention (referencing Sanguine chart). This coupled with the love God showered me with through the liturgical services, brothers at my parish, servants, and even those whom I served, I was living the dream. Then, I graduate, climax of the euphoria, and then face the beast, USF. Driving in on the first day of classes was terrifying, I thought I would get a ticket even if I parked in a place that had my name inscribed on it. The first week goes on and I text on the group chat with a lot of my friends for whoever wants to grab lunch and crickets chirp. It was soon I learned that everyone has their own agendas and is busy, and hanging out was out of their control most times.
God made me someone who is very outwardly inclined and having accepted that with the one thing I knew I began to see God’s appearances in my life; how He is the only friend that I truly have in that I see many people in my day and I have brothers around me but He is the one who much of the time speaks through them and is present in the midst of my interactions which makes me feel fulfilled. Thus, I am much more at rest, at least in the social aspect of my life, knowing that I am naturally inclined toward certain things which is the temperament God gave me and above that He showed me more clearly how He fulfills that natural part in me and uses it for His glory. Thus I can say with David the psalmist “I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvelous are Your works, and my soul knows this very well.”
This being said, that we must appreciate the way we are made in order to glorify God, we must not forget that there are some things which are important even though we may not be naturally inclined toward them. I have been warned that college shows the type of person I will be in the future, thus I stuck with the church and strive to go to all the events my Mother the Church plans for me. It may have been easier for me as my temperament wants that social aspect of gathering in the church, although that mindset has had its own dangers, but for others of my Brothers and Sisters it has been harder. This is where we must leave the whole carnal fight and enter into the spiritual playing field and give priority to what our spirit needs more than our bodily needs. We are under attack by our surroundings all the time, and the prince of this world, Satan, is running that. Thus we must gather as an army to fight back. St. John Chrysostom likens our current situation to an army gathering in the churches ready to fight all that is around us. When someone is affected by the problem of sin and needs support he runs to the Church but when he finds there are only a few people there he despairs and comes out more scared of the battle than before walking in due to lack of support. Likewise, if the same man walks in and finds people full of zeal and courage for God, they will walk out inflamed with zeal and hope. Thus we must come together in the gatherings our mother has prepared for us. Whether this be OCCM or more importantly the Eucharistic Table on Sunday to receive life from the tree of Life which is the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. May we rush and gather for our gatherings that we may all be edified in the love and knowledge of the Holy Trinity, to Whom be glory, honor, worship and praise. Now in this generation and unto all generations Amen.
St. John Chrysostom On the Incomprehensible Nature of God, Sermon Eleven