Ever heard the expression “Use stuff, not people”?
Seems strange that it is something that needs to be said, but I think all of us have at times struggled with this idea.
I don’t think it’s an evil intention we have, I think it’s typically rooted from a deep need or fear that we have that causes us to do things we normally wouldn’t do.
For instance, if we feel really insecure about something, we might want to surround ourselves with people who are encouraging.
The problem comes in when we treat that person as a “solution” to our feelings of insecurity, instead of a person that we value, that we want to encourage, and that we’re thankful they encourage us.
The first scenario sees the person as a means to meet their need; the problem is, that’s using them. That’s treating them like stuff.
The second scenario sees a person’s value and is thankful for their contribution to their life, and enjoys contributing to them in turn.
1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace”
God designed us to be givers, and receivers! We are meant to serve each other, to give to each other, to encourage each other!
That means, we are meant to receive, it’s good to receive!
But we are also meant to give, it’s good to give!
When we walk in our relationships remembering to both give and receive from others, we are walking in relationship like God intended for us to. But when we look at people’s gifts, when we look at people as a means to meet a need we have, that goes against God’s design for them and for you.
Let’s choose to LOVE and SERVE people, and USE stuff; not the other way around!