For the last few days, I have been thinking a lot about all of the different people that have been a part of my personal journey. I reflected on some really positive examples and some not so great ones. As I worked through the list, I was reminded of how God always has a purpose in how the events of our lives play out. Below are 4 types of people God uses in our lives and what that means for us:
“ALL THE WAY” PEOPLE
This by far the smallest group. These people love you through and through. More specifically, they love YOU. This is not to be confused with them loving what you do. Ideally, your family would fall into this category. The benefit of these people is that they often give you a safe place to be loved while you grow. Growth is a vulnerable process and it often exposes our humanity in unique ways. That’s why this group is so important. Because they truly love and care for you, with them you find a space to be your true self without the pressure of perfection.
Be sure that you don’t expect these people to be wowed by what you do. They are not fans, they’re family. As a result, they may often remind you that they want you but don’t need you.
How God Uses Them: To teach you unconditional love.
This group of people represents those who come into your life for a specific reason or season. They often add to you some trait that you lack. For example, an introvert might discover this to be their introverted friend who came along to pull them out of their shell during Freshman year. A church planter might discover this person to be the administrator who helped organize the church during the early days but left when the church had grown. These people have a God-given assignment to develop some deficiency in your life.
Be careful not to assume that every person who leaves your life is wrong. Once their objective is complete they will move on and that’s okay.
How God Uses Them: To help you through challenging seasons of life.
“IN THE WAY” PEOPLE
Now it gets hard. Not every person you meet will support the work of God in your life. This group represents such a person. These people have no intentions of moving forward as they are often too comfortable with where they are. As a result, they would prefer it if you stayed where you are. At a point when their comfort is challenged by your forward thinking vision, they may lash out. Your vision exposes their comfort.
Things can sometimes get personal with this group. In an effort to justify viewpoints, they may use their knowledge of your past to keep you from moving forward. Their goal is often motivated by the need to maintain their status in your life.
How God Uses Them: As a barometer of growth
“OTHER WAY” PEOPLE
God uses people in our lives in all kinds of ways. Too often we think God only authors comfortable things. But sometimes God uses hardship to advance His purpose in our lives. Just ask the New Testament church! These “Other Way” people often stand in direct opposition to God’s will for your life. They go as far as encouraging you to move away from God “for a season”. Their goal is often to make sure you don’t leave them.
Ultimately, you may be forced to choose between an unhealthy relationship with them and a healthy relationship with God.
How God Uses Them: To develop a tenacity for God.
What other types of people have you seen God use in your life? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.