Updated: Jan 28, 2021
I love a good personality test. I feel oddly known when I’m reading my results and am told I have poor follow-through, believe in others to a fault, want to be seen as a highly independent master of my own fate, and fear being deprived and in pain. Ouch! How do they know these things?!
I’ve noticed I’m all in when reading through my weaknesses; it’s when I’m told my strengths that I become doubting and skeptical.
Apparently, I have the gift of woo, which stands for winning others over. If that seems strange to read, it feels much stranger (and almost embarrassing) to write. I’m not sure I ever truly had this trait, but if I did, it must’ve been back in my twenties when I was more self-assured and fashionable, cut my hair more than once a year, didn’t wear the same mom uniform every day (sometimes also to bed) and could stay up past ten o’clock.
I think if I did have it, I’ve surely lost it. But… if I ever were to have it, I’d use it to influence more people to believe that Jesus is more. I guess you could say I’d woo people to Jesus.
So, who exactly are these “more people”? In one sense, they are the outsiders. The ones who are none and done with religion. They are those who are considered “non-neighbors” by the Christians in their neighborhoods perhaps because they are uninterested in spiritual things or have different politics or lifestyles. They are the rationalists, the mystics, the seekers, and the skeptics.
But in another sense, I’m more directly writing to their Christ-following neighbor who lives just a few doors down. I want to connect with that believer over our shared fears and vulnerabilities. I want to stir their affections for Christ, quiet their doubts, and help them believe that Jesus is more and better than anything this world has to offer. I want to sweep them up into God’s story of redemption that is unfolding right around them. I want to open their eyes to see their non-believing neighbors, perhaps for the first time. And I know that as that happens, they will woo those neighbors much better than I ever could, according to the thousands of varying individual results of their online personality test.
Of course, Christ is actually the one doing this. If you think about it, he is the ultimate wooer. I love how he owns that about himself, too. He’s not insecure about it. He knows it’s in his nature and calling to woo us to God; it’s why he came. I experience the woo of Jesus regularly. He changes my heart and my mind, not through charm or manipulation but through his grace and love. He isn’t intimidating. Rather he draws near so I can too.
So, if I ever were to have the gift of woo—not saying I do—but if I did, I’d hope through my writing to genuinely win more believers over to believe Jesus is more. And if that happened, maybe I could embrace with conviction that I have this gift after all, even though I do wear the same outfit every day and I’m really not that cool anymore.
Written for the GCD Writers' Cohort