Another type of grief that often hinders growth and causes very deep and long lasting pain is the grief that comes from the recognition that you are in some way, being or have been, “used.” This awareness may come suddenly or via a gnawing feeling that such is happening. I experienced this in several ways over the course of my jaunt on the globe. When I was younger the knowledge of being good enough when other friends were not around became glaringly apparent. As I put on some age and meanness, it became subtler but apparent none the less. There was a song about this years ago with this line, “If you’ve got the money honey, I’ve got the time. We’ll go honky Tonkin and we’ll have time. If you’ve got no more money honey, then I’ll have no more time…”
You get the idea and perhaps you have grieved. I know I did until I learned a valuable lesson as a Christian. I will not do anything for anyone unless I can convince myself with some biblical evidence that the deed is being done to and for Jesus. Then, if the person thinks they are using me, they will answer to the Lord Himself! This works wonders for avoiding the poison of bitterness. Jesus does not “use” and cast away, but is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
It would be safe to bet that the average small town, or large city for that matter, has people who have been, or think they have been, “used,” and have grown so bitter over being made a fool of, that they haven’t been inside a church for years and have absolutely no intention of ever going back, because, as they see it, all churches and Christians are the same, “users.”
Grief over being misused digs deep into the human soul and will never heal unless an understanding of the reason for it is acknowledged and dealt with as mentioned above. Many people are users. Though most will deny it, a few well-placed questions will clear up any doubt.
The other side of this conversation is that while we have been “used,” we more than likely were guilty, knowingly or unaware, that we were “using” another person or group for our own ends. Sobering isn’t it? To use a positive argument from IRS lore, if you give an offering to a charity and want tax credit for it, you cannot put any restrictions on it. If you get any material benefit from the gift, then it is not a grace gift. A grace gift is based on the Christian concept of something given to someone or group that doesn’t deserve it without expectation of anything in return. WOW. Sounds like John 3:16 to me.
The point: If I am used in any way, if I do or give in the Spirit of Christ, and not hoping I will gain due to the enormity of my gift, in whatever form, the gift of time, talent or treasure is given to Christ and I cannot be “used” in the negative sense and therefore I have no grievance against the Lord. The person who smugly thinks they “used” me are deceiving themselves.
Copyright © 2016 Larry Lilly
IT work that Works. Oral Deckard
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