See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. - Colossians 2:8
There are so many common sayings in our modern world that people spout, not realizing they come straight from the bible. From things like “Pride before the fall” to “skin of your teeth” the bible is full of phrases that have become so commonplace and clichéd people who use them do so with little or no understanding of their origin and true meaning. As an aside, I often catch myself snickering internally when atheists and devout anti-Christians use them, as if the words of God could add validity to their anti-God arguments. But, that’s a topic for another day.
An opposite phenomenon also occurs daily as there are many common phrases in this contemporary age that have taken an opposing definition to biblical ideals. The teachings of Jesus, at their core, call for a release of self and an embracing of selflessness. This world, instead, preaches “Look out for number one” and “it’s all about me” as well as “he who dies with the most wins.”
From that comes a sense of entitlement, a sense of selfishness, a foundation to life that clearly states in no uncertain terms that our own lives should be worshiped through the use of our time, talent and treasures. Instead of having Christ at the center of life, people who buy into these worldly ideas are replacing Christ with their own flawed selves.
How very unselfless.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2
“She felt so used…”
When you read the title to this post, what did you think? In common, everyday vernacular, it immediately brings a slide to the darker side of human relationships. Thinking of a woman being used often conjures imagery of immoral behavior, selfishness, abuse and worse... often much worse.
But, in this case, we need to look at the saying in a biblical context, because I’m referring to my wife and how God has used her to motivate others with her weight loss. Angie feels so used by God it literally makes her shine with an emotional glow that illuminates her surroundings with a million points of warm and fuzzy Godliness.
She felt so used… when Pastor Bob Merritt of Eagle Brook Church asked her to provide before and after pictures so he might employ them in a service message about life change.
She felt so used… by others when they came to her after the message and asked if she would share her story in the hopes it might ignite similar motivations in them.
She felt so used… when close friends came over a week later and interviewed her for their own mission of personal life change, taking Angie’s knowledge and working it into a God-centered plan for a better future.
She felt so used… when several of us suggested she take her experience and build a ministry from it to help other women end their struggle with weight loss, giving them the ability to finally defeat a foe many have wrestled with all their lives.
She felt so used… when just this morning, Pastor Bob came to her again, asking for more pictures and information so he could share it on another large platform that would take what God has done through Angie and impact countless more lives with it.
She felt so used… and He saw that it was good.
I’m happy to say my wife is being used. She’s the apple of my eye and I would go to the ends of the Earth for her and even though her spirit is willing, her flesh is weak. However, with God all things are possible, including taking a phrase that sounds so terrible and proving it means something far greater than any of us might imagine.