Most of the time when we think of being used it conjures up negative conotations. We don’t want to be used. Generally, it means someone is taking advantage of us or expending us on behalf of accomplishing their own goals. It devalues us as we become a means to an end.
Scripture, however, encourages us to be used. We don’t like to hear that as it goes against our culture of self esteem and warm fuzzies. Yet, as I try to justify or explain away what Scripture seems to teach, I can not come to any other conclusion. We’re taught to lay down our desires and our wishes. We’re exhorted to give what we have and then some. We’re commanded to take up the cross and turn the other cheek.
None of this is easy. Or rather, none of it is easy in practice. Because many of us have heard it so much, it rolls off our tongues and yet doesn’t penetrate our hearts. We say things like “I know I’m supposed to live for others, but Jesus never intended us to be a doormat”. And maybe He didn’t. But time and time again, He expended Himself on behalf of the crowd. Time and time again, when He needed rest, He worked; when He was hungry, He fed, and when He needed His Father’s love, He dispensed it to others.
The truth is, we are means to an end. We were put on this Earth to reflect the Father’s glory. That is our purpose. There is no higher calling, there is no greater gift. And while it’s foolish to live for ourselves, living for the Giver of life makes perfect sense.