Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Owning Need

Most of us know need in the way that we need food and water to survive, we need shelter to spare us from the elements, we need clothes to cover our naked bodies and we need money in order to purchase all those basic needs.

We know there is a difference between what we actually need and what we really want, right???

But, how many of us are willing to admit to our need for others and especially, our need for God?

I live in the state of Vermont and Vermonters are known for their independent spirit. "I can take care of myself, thank you, I don't need your help!" 

As I'm writing this, I'm reminded of a commercial for Anacin that was popular in the 1960s: A grown woman is making soup and her elderly mother walks up to her and says, "Don't you think that needs more salt?" The woman puts her hand to her head, obviously experiencing a really bad headache, and says:

"Mother, please, I'd rather do it myself!"

Most of us, for whatever reason, would rather do it ourselves, would rather not have to admit our need for another.  Maybe because we don't trust another; maybe because we don't want to expose ourselves or we don't want to let another in, or maybe in another way, we don't trust another to do the job or do the job well. Maybe because we want it done a certain way or in a certain time frame. But, I would venture to guess that most of us just don't want to rely on or depend on, or need another person for help.

We are not comfortable needing another person. It makes us vulnerable. It brings with it risk. The risk that the need won't be met and then what do we do?  It can also be a matter of pride because most of us believe that to need someone is a sign of weakness. I propose that to need someone and be able to express that need is a real sign of strength. It's recognizing our own lack and being willing to admit to that, to admit that we are not an island unto ourselves.

When we know and believe in our hearts the word of God and who we are in God, then our security rests in Him and we understand that He has created us to need Him and others to bring a completeness to our lives. We admit we are not God and we have deficiencies that cause us to need another.

Our need for one another is not an unhealthy need, but a genuine need that allows for the gift in another to minister to us, just as the gift in us ministers to others.

I admit to you that I have a problem with needing others. I know I do need others, but it's hard for me to admit it. It's hard for me to ask for help. I was raised to be independent and strong; I wasn't allowed to show weakness, so it's hard for me to admit that I need someone other than myself to grow in my life. At times, it's even been hard to admit that I need God. I'm working on this! I'm taking baby steps, day by day, to ask for help. But we need help, not just with physical things, but with emotional and spiritual things, too. We need others to speak into our lives. We need others to walk beside us when we go through a difficult time. We need others to pray for us, but they don't know we have need unless we express it!

When we go through things in our lives alone and feel alone, because we can't admit we need something someone else has to help us get through, it's most often because that's how we want it - because to want anything different, means we have to admit our deficiency. But living like that says that no one is good enough to ever share in your fear or your pain. Need becomes one thing that we can continue to control. We tell ourselves we have no need and we walk through things self-contained and not allowing others to touch our lives with the portion of Christ that God has given them to bless us. I believe, deep inside, though, it's not really how we want it!!

Think about this - how do you feel when someone expresses their need for you; expresses that they need your help? It feels good, doesn't it, to think that you have something that could help another? It feels good to know someone recognizes that you have something they need and want you to share it with them.

So, your expression of your need to someone else causes them to feel that same way. Do you, do I, have the right to deny that to someone else?

"You know I need you, just like you need me."

 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:4-5

"But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary; .. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular:"
1 Corinthians 12:20-22, 25-27

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."
1 Peter 4:10

There are no easy answers to why we all at one time or another don't want to admit our need in any shape or form. but as Christians, we are told we need all parts of the body of Christ, whether we want to or not. 

If you are someone like me, who has a hard time expressing that you have a need, discuss with the Lord why that might be and let Him work with you to help you in that area of your life. I'm working on overcoming my own difficulty with this because I want to receive all I can from the Lord by expressing my need of Him and in turn, expressing to my brothers and sisters when I have need of them and then trusting that God will meet our needs "according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!" (Philippians 4:19)


  1. I used to think that our family was very independent, but I was wrong. It's the whole planet!

  2. You are so right, Diane. We live in a world of people who act, as if on stage, that they have no need of others. Thus, we live in constant competition, hurting others to prove to others we don't need them! I don't want to be a part of that "production" any more.