God Does Not Use You, Survivor
Being a survivor of abuse has given me a distinct sensitivity to the language that is used to describe God’s relationship with humans. Some may criticize this sensitivity, viewing it as overly emotional or too experientially-based, but I see it as a unique perspective into the heart of an ever loving God.
God identifies with the abused and marginalized at their same emotional and experiential level because God too was the victim of abuse.
A notion that has truly bothered me since experiencing abuse is the concept that God uses us. The term and language of use invokes memories of being used by abusive men, even spiritual leaders. For me, use is an action taken from a passive object or individual for the user’s own benefit. I use my car and take it where I wish for it to go. Abusers use victims to gratify their lust for power and control. Their active use forces victims into a passive non-consenting role.
To say God uses implies that God causes us to do God’s will without our consent. God is love, and love does not seek to control but to empower. I view God as an all powerful, all privileged Being who sacrificed everything to empower us, but who also respects our choices.
For this reason, I believe God does not want to use you or I; God wants to offer us an opportunity to enter a loving partnership with Godself for the good of ourselves and the world.
Notes and Sources:
Thank you to Sarah Bessey for first putting words to this concept: “God does not want to use you: God wants to be with you because he loves you.”