Just when I thought I’d heard it all …
A news report informed listeners today that the ringleader of the social media “Blue Whale Challenge” was jailed for three years for luring and provoking teenagers to participate in increasingly challenging assignments which eventually lead to committing suicide. “Challenge” mastermind Philipp Budeikin suggests that the victims are “biological waste” and he was “cleansing society.”
The “Challenge,” which originated in Russia and now spans continents, possesses an eerie element: necessary accountability in carrying out the escalating assignments, with failure resulting in possible harm to family members. The game players purposely sign on to this crash course of intense proving of oneself, but there is no winning, only death.
Intelligent, mature adults would never imagine themselves being so easily provoked by such uselessness; we do, however, unwittingly allow an invisible IV needle to be thrust into the “I need to be valued” vein which provides a slow drip of the toxic lie that we must continually perform, achieve, and work to obtain perfection in order to matter in this world.
The majority of people who know me would describe me as an intelligent, mature adult, but I have experienced and overcome (for the most part) the challenge of performing tasks in the game of proving myself to be worthy.
The enemy knows my weak spots; he considers me “biological waste,” and his mission is to “cleanse” me from the face of the earth. He is also very aware that I’m “on to” him, so he’s extremely subtle.
Over the years, because of the many and varied influences surrounding me, I strived for proof of my worth. Whatever I did, I didn’t do it because I wanted to feel good about myself; I wanted YOU to feel good about me. Only then would I feel good about myself. Yes, I know that’s sick. Good for me that I’m also “on to” me.
Competitive, strong-willed, and goal-oriented, there was no end to achieving, performing, covering up, and rehearsing every word and action to perfection. All I wanted to hear was someone — ANYONE — say, “You matter! I’m so glad you’re on this planet! What would I ever do without you?”
I wonder if that’s what the suicide victims of the Blue Whale Challenge longed to hear as well.
Residing in that place of longing is like living in hell. It is a constant doubting of oneself, with the incessant droning of burdensome questions. How thin do I need to be? How smart do I have to be? How strong or rich do I need to be? Or … Why do you deceive me? lie to me? trick me? How fast do I have to dance and how many cliffs do I need to jump off of to be 100% absolutely worthy of attention, respect, or love? In this intense quest to prove myself, there is no winning, only death.
Dear Lord, who is the mastermind behind this game that perpetuates such despair?
The answer came to me from 2 Kings 17:38-39: “Do not forget the covenant I’ve made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
How could it be that I didn’t realize that I had been worshiping other gods, their opinions, and the value they placed on me? Striving and stressing, becoming anxious and depressed because I just wasn’t quite worth enough to another placed my mental and emotional health in the hands of mortal man. And the last time I checked, man did not hold the measuring stick that decides my worth. The cross proves my worth.
The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, which is why we are instructed to, be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9
This life is not a game; it is real and it is challenging. Be alert, stand firm, and resist. NO ONE gets to decide if you are worthy.
God has already decided.
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Pam Weyant traded the harsh Midwestern winters for the sunny South. When she is not spending her time as a freelance court reporter, you will find her loving up her adorable cocker spaniel, hiking, traveling, writing creative nonfiction, or working out. Her passion is sharing her story so others can join her in celebrating the freedom found in a redemptive Savior.