Colorado Life Coach: Using God as a Weapon

“God told me…”

“God’s reason for this is…”

“You’re not in God’s will.”

Christians I know use these phrases a lot.

I used to…

An old friend of mine told me I should never say that God told me something unless I was really sure. Later, she used what she believed God “told” her to beat me up, spiritually.

I’ve had a tendency to be pretty black and white in my thinking. It’s either right or it’s wrong. There’s good and there’s bad. There is an answer to things.

And this is true, to a certain extent. There is a right and and a wrong, but sometimes there’s a whole lot of sensitivity in between.

Spiritual abuse occurs when people use God to control others. This happens when a husband quotes Ephesians 5:22 to get his wife to do what he wants (“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”). The previous verse, “submitting to one another in the fear of God” isn’t mentioned.


When a mom tells her children they “should” want to go to church.


When we judge others by what we view as their lack of spiritual growth. We may believe they don’t put God first in their lives. We may think they don’t pray enough. We may suggest their hearts aren’t pure.

The big question is, how do we know what’s in their heart? How do we know what God is doing in their lives? Who made us judge?

Last night, I was the guest speaker at an event. My topic was distorted thinking. Through some discussion, a question was raised about our responsibility to evangelize our friends and family. The woman asking was clearly distressed. Her church taught that this was her responsibility and when she didn’t consistently talk to others about their need for God, she felt guilty.

I’ve done it! I preached at people. I tried to get them to see how detrimental their actions were to themselves and those around them. I wanted them to see their need for God.

Instead I pushed them away.

Isn’t this the real issue? We want people to see things the way we do, and we can’t make them.

So we use God.

If they won’t listen to me, surely they’ll listen to God!

~A friend’s daughter is making some really bad decisions. She’s mad at God and thinks He’s against her. Instead of truly listening to her daughter’s heart and connecting with her, she quotes scripture and blames the devil.

~A client’s girlfriend doesn’t engage emotionally. Instead of talking to her directly, telling her he needs more connection and asking to get some help together, he says that God told him she’s not right for him.

~A pastor counseled a hurting wife and they both determined that God told them to end their current marriages and marry each other. I wonder if their former spouses and children were so sure this was God’s will.

~Many of my clients have been hurt by someone who broke up with them because “God told me you aren’t the one for me.” How must they feel about God after hearing that?

Why don’t we just accept responsibility for our decisions? Why do we have to put the blame on God?

I absolutely believe God speaks to his people. I believe he warns us, guides us, and shows us the direction he wants us to go.

Jesus is our example. How did he treat people?

He was most kind to those who didn’t know him.

He was harsh with those who said they knew him, but used religion to control others.

What if we live our lives by example, and share with those who want to know how we made it through some tough situation, or how we continue to have peace, or how we wake up everyday in the midst of hardship?

Then we could let God be God. He’s better at it anyway.

This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole.



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