Discussion with a friend, and how God uses people

Hey guys.

So recently I chatted with one of my friends who has turned away from Christianity. We discussed a number of different topics such as why God let’s bad things happen, and the principles of free will and forgiveness, and so on.

However, one thing I’m not sure how to handle, is the overall idea of how God uses us. Like for us, it’s such a captivating idea that the creator of the universe wants to use us in our everyday lives to reach out to people and help them in their journeys. But how do you discuss with someone that despises this? She doesn’t like how God can use her against her will, even bringing up that it was unfair he even uses the devil. She said she doesn’t want to love God at the moment, but still wants to love others. And is angry that she can’t love others without loving God. She hates that she has to ignore her own self in order to get back at God.

I can tell a lot of this is just hurt she’s experiencing from a recent event, but I would really love to know how to discuss this with her as I can’t seem to find any articles on it.

Thanks, and God Bless

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Your friend is not going to be convinced with a debate because she has chosen to harden her heart. Her rejection of God is not a matter of it being logical – rather, it is a matter of being in love with herself. She wants to assert herself as God. That’s what it boils down to. Your friend wants to be the Lord of her life.

Many people want to go to Heaven, they just don’t want God to be there. I think the best thing to do for your friend is to pray that God opens her heart. It’s not going to happen any other way. She is not mentally or physically sick; she is spiritually sick. The cure to a spiritually sick person is Jesus. He will rescue your friend from Hell if she gives up on her own selfish lifestyle.

It’s great that you’re engaging with your friend about higher topics, so don’t misunderstand me. However, it will take a work of the Holy Spirit to save her. No one is argued into Heaven. As christians, we sometimes forget that it’s a miracle whenever someone believes our message. It’s a miracle in every sense of the word.

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@drac16 What a beautiful post, drac!

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Thanks. :smiley:

@MattEZ You are very kind, Matt, to seek advice to help your friend. Take drac’s comments to heart. I think he’s nailed the reason people turn from God, feeling justified in their anger and bitterness while often being unaware that they, themselves, are the problem. Pogo said it: “I met the enemy, and he are us!” I will pray for you and your friend. :heart:

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Hey MattEZ,

Tell to your friend if God is using us for fulfilling their own will, why they hang on Cross for us? Its OK, if you are happy after stay away from Christianity. Choose any religion according to your choose but one thing is common among all of the religions they believes in love and truth.

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@MattEZ I’ve noticed that when someone is adamant that their views/beliefs are correct, although they fly in the face of facts and common sense, I reach quicker agreement with them if I ask questions and let them slowly see where their answers are taking them. Lol! But you must really be on your toes. It helps to practice in your head or out loud.

I confess, though, that it’s much easier, and way less mental gymnastics, to try to convince them with facts and common sense, even though they’re not as receptive as they are to answering questions. However, apologetics arguments often sound like lecturing, putting people on the defensive, making them dig in their heels even more, which is why I think the question-answer technique is more effective. Again, my prayers for both of you.

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A couple of things here that you might gently point out to her.
God gives us free will. We can do with our lives as we please.

  1. She does not have to allow God to use her.
  2. She does not have to love God to Love others.

But ironically, if she, as a non-believer spends her life loving people, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, tending the sick, housing the homeless or visiting the prisoner just because she thinks it’s the right ting to do, she is doing God’s work.

Eventually, when she realizes this, she may change her mind and understand that in doing God’s work she is happier and more fulfilled than when she ignores and rejects Him.

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She loves God in the same way she loves others.

Mathew 25 - 40
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

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She is right, God never, ever, ever impinges on our free will.

I loathe the phrase “God uses us” because it is misleading.

God asks us to be willing to go and do as He commands. God asks for volunteers, not puppets.

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I think the fact that she wants to love others demonstrates that she already loves God. Part of her difficulty might have to do with who exactly she believes God is. Also, the fact that evil and suffering are hurtful to her is a sign of some spiritual health.

It’s helped me in my own journey to picture God not so much as “over there, pulling the strings” as in and through the gaps of our everyday existence, conversations, feelings of both joy and grief. When I allow or welcome Him to be more of a part of all those things, I feel like I’m more whole, more solid, more real. It’s a simple enough concept, but it sure isn’t always easy :slight_smile:

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King Solomon was granted much wisdom from God himself.

Proverbs 21:1

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;

he turns it wherever he will.

Amazing wisdom at it’s best from the King.

Also remind your friend that all catholic priests must take an oath to accept openly with zealous all souls.

Could you point me to a citation? I have not heard this during an Ordination.

Maybe there is a language difference?

I found a detailed order from a Canadian parish, cannot find that line:

In the USA secular Priests:

Priests who belong to a religious order (e.g., Dominicans, Benedictine, Franciscans, etc.) take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Diocesan priests make two promises- celibacy and obedience; these promises are part of the ordination ceremony. It is also expected that diocesan priests will lead a life of simplicity consonant with the people they serve.

http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/priesthood/priestly-formation/faqs-priesthood-ordination-seminary.cfm

Thanks, I completely agree! I definitely believe she’s still searching deep down. All these conversations have been initiated by her, and so I’m just trying to be mindful of what I say during this fragile time for her.

But out of the blue she asked me what I would think if she became a nun (and she’s not even Catholic), so I think God’s still speaking to her heart.

Thanks everyone for your messages! You’ve been quite helpful and supportive :yellow_heart:

Yes basically the same thing my friend.

zeal for souls

All good priests must have this burning in their heart to fulfil God’s teachings.

But, the “oath” or “vow” you suggested, can you document it? It is okay to say “no, I just believe this to be so”.

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