Survey Says: You are Awesome
Have you taken any of those quizzes that people post on Facebook or other social media? You know, those highly scientific tests that tell you which Harry Potter character you are most like or where you should live?
Of course, we all know they are really just for fun, and while they may be a bit interesting and perhaps mildly accurate, they are pretty silly. Still, we love taking them to find out more about ourselves, especially when they tell us about our good qualities.
For example, the other day I was told I was like Beyoncé.
It’s hard not to feel a bit more awesome after that.
It is no wonder we love taking those Internet quizzes. We all crave encouragement, and we need to be encouraged and built up if we are to persevere.
That’s why the Bible tells us to encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11). We also love knowing our gifts and our strengths. And we should know them so that we can use them to serve others and glorify God.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16)
A Strange Kind of Encouragement
One of the most encouraging things I have heard lately was not actually about my strength, but rather my weakness. I was in the midst of confessing sin to a friend. I was feeling like a failure and saying how I should have known better and done better. I was giving myself a pretty good verbal beating.
She did not respond by guilt-tripping me. She didn’t make excuses for me or tell me my sin wasn’t that bad. She was not shocked or disgusted.
Instead, she looked at me and matter-of-factly stated, “Well, yeah. You suck.”
Now, you might think her response sounds harsh, but it really was not. It did not come from a place of judgment, and it was in the context of years of friendship. Plus, she did not stop there. She then reminded me that Jesus loves me and forgives me, so I need to quit beating myself up and forgive myself, as well. And she also reminded me that she loves me, too.
It was so refreshing for it to be okay to admit failure, weakness, and sin. To not hide it or sweep it under the rug. By saying, “Yes, you suck,” my friend relieved the pressure I had placed on myself to be perfect and instead pointed me to our perfect Savior. I can understand why Proverbs 27:6 says,
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.