The term being ‘used’ normally carries negative connotations, but that doesn’t always have to be the case.
I define being used as two specific circumstances:
1. Where a person subconsciously gives out aspects of herself/himself to a person without getting what they expect they deserve in return e.g. reciprocity,
gratitude. Instead, the recipient appears to gain more than from the relationship and the used person suffers a substantial loss.
2. Where a person is placed in a situation where their character, mind-set and faith is tested for reasons they cannot account for during the specific period
e.g. running for a campaign that constantly faces opposition, despite the cause of the campaign seeming obviously beneficial.
I personally do not like feeling as though as I have been used, I can’t imagine many do. As a person who takes relationships (romantic and platonic) seriously, I like to believe that my commitment and investment in them is beneficial for both parties. What is usually expected is a mutual exchange of spent time, money or other things that I deem valuable. Have you been in situations where you felt that you were really taken advantage of and you have nothing to account for that you gained apart from a costly lesson learnt? After situations like these, I often go back to God and ask Him, “Why me?”
There are other times, where you seem like you are constantly climbing up an uphill battle. One personal trial after the other, and when you feel like you have finally come out on top, you find yourself at the bottom of another mountain. Talk about having a Job moment! A Scripture which provides so much comfort for me in these situations is 2 Corinthians 4:7-10, “Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
Here Paul describes clay jars; fragile, delicate vessels that God Himself purposely selected to withstand various trials but behold His glory. In 2 Corinthians 4: 15-16 Paul goes on to say, “Indeed, everything is for your benefit, so that grace, extended through more and more people, may cause thanksgiving to increase to God’s glory. Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.” I use this passage to console and remind myself that He is truly working things out for my good.
Sometimes we will have to take an ‘L’ for the sake of the Kingdom but is that not what Christ did for me on the cross? Nothing that I go through is in vain and is not without benefit for His Kingdom or myself, even if I do not initially perceive it as so. In fact, it is a blessing that Jesus chose me to behold His treasure and it’s an honour that I will gracefully carry. So if it is necessary for His glory, however painful the process, my prayer is that the Lord will use me as He so desires.