People can be manipulative, using us for their selfish purposes to satisfy their own needs — whether physical, emotional, or financial. Often, we don't seem to mind because the needs are mutually served. However, this doesn't last. Once the need is met, or the person finds a better alternative, we are dumped like yesterday's trash!
The result? Resentment, unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, and an assortment of other negative emotions. What these serve to do, as much as the relationship that inspired them, is make us a bit player in someone else's story. Why be like a movie extra when we can be the star?
I know we have needs. We need food, clothing, shelter, jobs, companionship, significance, freedom, security, and many other things. However, we don't need to depend on other human beings to provide them. We need to depend on God. He is Jehovah Jireh, our provider (Genesis 22:14), and as Don Moen sings:
My God shall supply all my needs
According to his riches in glory
He will give his angels
Charge over me
Jehovah Jireh cares for me.
God understands our need for companionship. He created a partner for Adam because it was not good for us to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Yet, God tells us to love him with everything we have and relegate everybody else to second place (Luke 10:27, 14:26).
The reason is so that our need for others doesn't become parasitical. Many of us are so needy we drain the life out of others like soul-sucking vampires. However, people are as empty as we are, so when we try to obtain what we need from others, it is like drinking from a broken cup. God warned us about this. He said: "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water" (Jeremiah 2:13). People are broken cisterns!
However, when we get everything we need from God, drinking the living water — that's the Holy Spirit — we become independent of people. Consequently, we no longer have any reason to be manipulative — or manipulated. We can stride across this world like a Colossus, confident and free. So, dear friend, walk tall. Like a hero!
May the Spirit be with you.