05 Nov 2016
Tags: friendships, Proverbs, Titus 2, Used, Wisdom
It is a noble thing for a woman to desire to model Titus 2:3-5. However, because a woman has a passion to minister to other women, she can easily fall prey to the tactics of a user. Women who are timid find it difficult to say “no” to a user. Women with strong personalities often find pleasure in being asked to share their opinions.
I met a lady whom I will call Betty. We hit it off very well, seeming to share the same values. We forged a friendship, attending some of the same classes, and even visiting each other on occasion.
I began to notice a pattern to our conversations. They seemed to revolve around the happenings in her life. She was constantly seeking my advice. When I would respond with scripture, she would quickly affirm my insights with comments like, “Oh, that is good,” or “I never thought of it like that.” Because I thrive on words of affirmation, I never seemed to notice that she rarely brought scripture into our conversations.
Several months later, Betty was faced with a difficult dilemma. Because of my desire to help women, I spent a great deal of time counseling her with a scriptural approach to her situation. A few times I even left messages for her, stating that I had some more information which she may find helpful. Those calls were always quickly returned. Yet on other occasions, she would rarely, if ever, return my calls.
One evening, I was quite stressed and in despair over a situation of my own. I knew Betty had faced this very circumstance, so I decided to call her. I left a message for her, leaving no doubt as to my frame of mind. I knew I could count on her to help me. After all, Betty was my friend. However, she never returned my phone call.
As I pondered and prayed about this, I realized that I was not being unreasonable in feeling that I deserved a return phone call, for true friends are kind to each other. (Job 6:14)
I also came upon the realization that some people are only friends with us if we give them gifts. (Proverbs 19:6) I had poured myself into Betty’s life, yet was not getting anything in return. I discerned that what Betty was doing was using me. She was seeking the spiritual food which I had earnestly sought so she would not have to be diligent in the Word herself.
By trying to be a Titus 2 woman, I had ended up becoming spiritually used, allowing her to use up my time, my energy, and my spiritual food.
The Word tells us that faithful friendships are refreshing. (Proverbs 27:9) A true friend sticks by you in good times and bad times. (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24) Real friends are like iron sharpening iron. (Proverbs 27:17) If you cannot say this is true of your friendships, perhaps you have also been spiritually used.
Take some time to evaluate your friendships. Have you been spiritually used?
© 2007, Stacy R. Miller