I’ve never considered myself to be a user. You know, someone who depletes others’ time, energy, service, etc. for the sake of meeting their own needs. For the sake of getting what they want…only with no intention of giving back.
I’ve always tried to give back. Even if it was in a different way than the way I was receiving. I’ve always thought I had a heart for others and helping others. However the flesh, I’m learning, is prone to anything if given the chance. And so I’ve been that. A user. Using someone to meet my own selfish needs with no real desire to give them what they deeply want. Interesting how when using you can justify it. When sinning you can justify it. But there is no justification for sin.
Sin is never justified.
God told me that a long time ago, when I was angry and hurt and heartbroken. I was in desperate need of healing from my ex and had just started the long journey towards the healing process. I was having a conversation with Christ and defended my own sin, stating that my hurtful actions were done out of revenge. I was hurt first, therefore I was not in the wrong when I hurt. “Sin is never justified Nicole”, He said loud and clear. That was the beginning of my healing. Of me forgiving myself. Even typing that sentence makes me uncomfortable…”forgiving myself”. I’m pretty hard on myself. I hold myself to a higher standard than I hold others to. That means I’m hard on others, but even harder on myself. That makes it challenging for me to extend grace to others. But I’m learning how to do that in this season. Now I guess it’s time for me to practice extending it to myself.
Because I used him.
I used him and was honest about it, which I think in some warped way I felt that made it not as bad. Made the sin not as sinful…if such a thing is possible.
I was laying in my bed the other morning and thought, what if we are not judged by the typical acts of sin we are all so privy to. You know, the drunkenness, debauchery, sexual immorality… stuff that the bible lists so clearly. I mean, we can be judged for those things but what if we are also judged for the way that we treat others? What if that is even more important to Christ than the behavior-type sins? And then God reminded me.
His law is love.
And love is how we treat people. How we treat ourselves. Could we be judged for mistreating even ourselves? If God’s law is love then the flesh is contrary to all that is love. The flesh is all about self. Pleasing self. Satisfying self. Whatever benefits self is highest on the flesh’s agenda. And that is opposite of everything God stands for. He is all about selflessness, and doing what is best in the interest of others. He is all about putting others before Himself, even if it means 39 lashes and 6 hours of torture on a bloody cross; punishment for a sin He did not commit.
When Christ was asked what commandment was the most important, He responded “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”…and the 2nd is “Love others as well as you love yourself”. If we follow those 2 simple commandments, how can we possibly go wrong? How can we get off track from our purpose? We won’t. And we will not hurt others and use others. We will not hurt ourselves.
1 Corinthians 13