Sometimes I think I receive encouragement differently than most people.
I (usually) don’t enjoy compliments. Mostly because I don’t believe they are given sincerely. False flattery is probably No. 3 on the list of things Sophie hates. Apparently it makes me so mad I speak in third person. (For those of you wondering, sin is No. 1 followed by a deep abhorrence to candy corn.)
The order of importance there is still a little sketchy. Mice are on that list too. Probably ahead of candy corn.
The way I do receive encouragement and feel the most loved by people is when they rebuke me.
You know someone really loves you when they sacrifice both their comfort and yours for the sake of something greater.
As always, the Bible says it best (I mean, it’s hard to beat the whole God-inspired-Word stuff).
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.” –Proverbs 27:5-7
The awesome thing about receiving a rebuke from someone is that when those same people offer you compliments or encouraging words you know they are genuine—they have proven they can be trusted.
The Latest Rebuke
Sometimes rebuke comes from the most unlikely places. Most of the time it comes from sermons, books or my closest friends (I know they’re my closest friends because they love me enough to point out things I’m blinded to, sins, areas needing growth, etc.), but the last zing of conviction and rebuke came from Lecrae.
Yes. Lecrae. The rapper. If you don’t know who he is, look him up. You’ll get more theology in one song than in most American church services every week. Combined.
The rebuke came from a line in “Boasting,” one of my all-time favorite Lecrae songs. If you don’t know it you can watch the video/lyrics here.
Glory was solely meant for You,Doing what no one else could do.With all I have to giveI’ll use my life, I’ll use my lips.I’ll only glory in Your Word, a gift to me I don’t deserve.I’ll live in such a way that it reflects to You my praise.
The rebuke came gently but firmly.
How many times do I pray for God to use me but (sometimes subconsciously) have a preconceived idea of what that will look like? I fear that so often He wants to use me but because of anxiety, intimidation, pride and all kinds of other stupid things, I don’t open my mouth—a tool He has given each of us to use for His glory, purposes and divine use. I ask to be used but don’t use what He’s already given me. That’s just silly.
“With all I have to give I’ll use my life, I’ll use my lips.”
So God, here am I, send me. Send me to the farthest regions of the world or just to a hurting person right here. Use me to speak grace, life, love and hope to everyone I encounter in the form of Your glorious Gospel upon which You gave Your life and I now stake mine.