Are You Needy Enough?
I attended a wedding recently where I had a chance to catch up with some dear friends. As one of them was headed out the door, she hugged me goodbye and said to my husband, “Take care of her. She’s needy.” She claimed she was joking but I think she just knows me well. Pray for my husband. Poor guy.
I really can be annoyingly needy and it’s something the Lord is graciously growing me in. But this got me thinking…is there any way in which being, “needy” or being aware of and admitting our need, is considered a good thing?
A Needy People
When you look up the definition of needy, you’ll find it’s main meaning is someone who is, “lacking the necessities of life” or, “very poor”. In our culture though, we tend to use the word’s alternative meaning. Typically, we describe that kind of person as someone who asks much of us or is high maintenance. They may voice a lot of complaints (guilty!) and need loads of emotional support.
In this post, I want to focus in on the original definition, lacking the necessities of life, and think about it from a spiritual standpoint.
Picture this: You wake up to get ready for the day. You have somewhere to be in an hour so you eat a quick breakfast and hop in the shower. You get ready and then spend about 5 or 10 minutes reading a devotional and you’re out the door. You’re off to wherever you’re headed (Work, errands, take kids to school etc.) and your mind is constantly on to the next thing. Complete this task, call this person, stop and get groceries, cook dinner, do dishes, fold laundry, watch TV. And then it’s bedtime and you’ll do it all over again tomorrow. 3 days later, you realize you haven’t really prayed or sought the Lord about much of anything. You ask for his forgiveness and vow to start focusing more on him each day. It starts out well and good and then you’re back to where you began.
Maybe this looks a little different for each of us, but I’m guessing you’ve experienced something similar. Why does it seem that our lives play out this way so often? Why do we neglect the Lord so easily? I think it’s because we are prone to believing that we are a self sufficient people. Oh, but we are so wrong.
The bible paints us in quite a different light. In fact, the whole bible points us to the reality that humans are spiritually bankrupt and in great need.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23 ESV)
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3 ESV)
For those of us that have faith in Christ, there was a point where we realized that we had a dire need. A need that could not be fulfilled by any one other than God himself. We needed a Savior, a propitiation for our sin (Romans 3:25). Someone who could wash away our filth and redeem us from our personal pit of death. We were dead and needed to be brought to life. We recognized our desperate need and turned to Christ who welcomed us with open arms.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:5 ESV)
Some of us live our lives as if that’s where our need for him ended. We may not admit it out loud but it’s apparent each day we forget to seek his face. It’s awe inspiring and humbling to think about the fact that if God took his grace from the Earth, it would cease to exist. WE would cease to exist. He is sustaining all things. We need him for literally every thing we do, spiritually as well as physically.
We are a needy, needy people.
He Gave Us His Body
Jesus laid down his body on our behalf. He gave it to us to be broken for our sin. But he’s given us another body that is important for the Christian life as well.
Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12 hammers down the point that the Church is the body of Christ. He also emphasizes our need for each other. We are all indispensable parts.
My Pastor, Greg Birdwell says, “God has given the Church to the Church for the Church.” In essence, what he means is the Body of Christ is a means in which God uses to sanctify, encourage and build up each member of the body.
In Ephesians, Paul commands us to, “bear with one another in love” and be, “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
God is glorified when we are unified. Maintaining unity is more than being in agreement with one another and avoiding arguments. God intends for us to have a deeper unity than that. He longs for us to be, “in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side” (Philippians 1:27).
Can we strive side by side if we aren’t open about the sin we’re striving against? Honestly, can we bear a fellow believer’s burden if we aren’t aware of the burden they bear? No, we can’t. It’s not possible.
There is a lack of building up in the Church and I think it comes from our desire to look more put together than we actually are. There’s a lack of honesty and a whole lot of pride. It shouldn’t be so.
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV)
Have you ever thought about the fact that we need each other? Maybe you don’t feel as if you do, but in the Ephesians passage mentioned above I believe Paul would beg to differ. He makes the claim that the body grows when each part is working correctly. One way we can work properly is by reaching out to those in need of encouragement while simultaneously seeking godly wisdom from others.
Because as wise and put together as we may think we are, we are one temptation away from sin.
Neglecting Our Need
Are you actively seeking wise counsel from other women or are you neglecting to use one of the main tools God has provided you for growth and encouragement? If you’re not reaching out, I’d encourage you to ask yourself why.
Remember, neediness in the Kingdom is a good thing. It means you recognize that apart from Christ and his provision, you would be helpless. Praise God, he’s provided his body and the Body (the Church) to meet your greatest needs.
Neglecting those two graces doesn’t make you strong, it makes you weak.