I’m smart enough to know I’m being used when Weston the Wonder Boy slaps a big messy kiss on my face at the same time he’s pilfering a French fry from my plate. It could have something to do with his mischievous grin, that adorable mass of blond curls atop his head, or how much he’s looking like his daddy to me these days. Regardless, I’m not only on to his game, I’m good with it.
Shameless grandchildren promotion aside, however, as a general rule none of us like being used and we’re all smart enough to know when it’s happening. Scroll through Facebook and you can see how much we dislike it. There are cute little pictures all through the feed posted by some people who are clearly hoping other people will get the pictorial point. I saw one that read, “I’m not a doormat. Use me again and you’ll find a spike lodged in your foot.” Subtle. And then there was the tongue in cheek one that read, “I love being used and I’ll continue to let you do so with a smile on my face, said no one ever.”
These memes might make us feel better momentarily, but we all know they aren’t addressing the root of the problem that runs deep in our human nature. Someone once said, “People were created to be loved and things were created to be used. The problem is that things are being loved and people are being used.” That’s truth right there.
By and large our world has upside down values. We need the One who created us to set us right through faith in Christ Jesus, and then we need to stay in relationship with Him so He can teach us how to treat one another. Which brings me to yet another reason to praise Him. (They’re as endless as He is eternal.) People may use us, but God doesn’t!
God is not a user, not in the way the world uses and abuses. God is love.
Oh, yes, He most certainly employs us in His work. And yes, we do get to share in spreading His message and living out the gospel for others. But, I’ll say it again. God isn’t a user. If we focus on being used by Him, we’ll miss the greater joy of being loved by Him.