Think about a friend who’s only friends with you because of what you can do for them. Chances are, you don’t enjoy being friends with them because they’re just using you. I wrote about how easy it is for us to view God that way, to try and use Him, to impose our expectations onto Him and be disappointed when He does something different (i.e. emotional unchastity).
Have you ever had a friend who was just friends with you because of what you did for them? Maybe you knew all the answers in a particular class, or had all the friends they wanted, the job connections they wanted, or maybe you always helped them solve their personal problems, or made them feel great about themselves. And while all of these things are good in themselves, if someone is only friends with you because of what they do for you, what kind of friendship is that? Is that a solid relationship? Would you want to be used like that?
When I was in Italy over spring break, we took a day trip to Florence, and it was my least favorite day of the whole trip. Florence was too commercial, a stark contrast from Assisi (our previous day) or even from Rome. Stores all around sold designer and name-brand everything. At one point, our chaplain said, “Pope Francis would be angry, how many poor people could you feed with all this?”
Imagine you’re in exile. Maybe it’s because a country invades us and a bunch of us get deported so we can’t mount an effective resistance. Maybe it’s like what’s happening in the Middle East, with our homeland becoming unsafe and so we flee, seeking a better life. Maybe we’re sent into exile in punishment for a crime.