Could you imagine people being this direct? Even though this is their intent, most people will use a more indirect approach by asking “Are you available?” Regardless of the approach, your initial response is probably “available for what…use me for what”. What follows is usually an explanation as to why your help is needed and maybe some other theatrics depending on how dramatic the person is and how much coercing you need. You ultimately assess your availability by determining how much of yourself and/or your resources you are willing to give.
Several years ago one of our readers contacted us about a portion of our first book, Our Story. The reader referenced a portion of the book on friendship, puzzled as to how a woman could seemingly go out of her way to do some of the things mentioned and not have the fear of being used. She mentioned that as she thought about the scenarios in the book, she eventually realized that had the person she was helping been one of her girlfriends, and not a man, she would have done the acts of service without hesitation. Our response to her about being used was the same that we share with anyone – WE WERE EXPECTING TO BE USED.
Most people fear or hate being used because they feel a lack of control. We can deal with not always being able to control everything, but we don’t like for our time, resources or well-being to be tampered with for too long. Actually, tolerance levels in these three areas run really thin really quickly. During the course of developing our friendship, we learned a lesson about possession, ownership, that catapulted our growth in so many areas. Perhaps our reader, along with others, learned it as well. Those prized possessions of time, resources, and well-being that we hold so dearly DO NOT BELONG TO US.
At some point, we reach a place of maturity where we realize that everything that we have or have the ability to do does not belong to us, but to God. There are appointed times when people may ask “Are you available,” and it is actually God asking “Can I use you”? Be mindful the gift of wisdom is a necessary safeguard for foolishness…go ahead, chuckle. Not doing so will cause you to loose the possessions that you do have. Also note things that could hinder your availability like frustration, disappointment, selfishness, laziness, jealousy, conceit and many others that all steam from fear. Instead, operate from a place of love and take joy in knowing that your availability (relinquishing your will) gives God the full capacity to use you for something great!
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