Katharine Welby writes compellingly about the challenge she and other introverts face when it comes to being as inclusive as Christ commands:
We have an ability to choose how we behave. If you are a Christian, then there is a gospel imperative to choose an inclusive attitude towards others. The thing is, this does not have to be a hurtful or exhausting thing to do to yourself. Jesus regularly took his disciples off on their own. He had an exclusive group of friends, and he made sure that he had time to spend alone with them. He also, never said no to those in need. He always included everyone.
In his society, those that were most excluded were the ones that he went to the most. The widows, the orphans, the disabled, the tax collectors and the Romans; he dealt with everyone, with love and inclusion.
Welby, the daughter of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, is guest editor this week of the British Web site Threads, where she is focusing on how “we create a place where we have the safety of close friendships, without leaving people feeling like they are left on the outside looking in.”