Dr. Jackie Minor
Is It OK to Be Needy?
It probably isn’t popular or even wise to admit one’s neediness these days. For the purposes of this blog, I am not referring to individuals who have legitimate needs. We all know our world is full of people who need support financially, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I do not want to be insensitive to this truth. There is a difference, however, between having needs and being needy. Is it OK to be needy?
Neediness by the world’s definition usually reflects someone who is clingy, dependent, attention-seeking, and/or overly sensitive. We’ve all had needy students in our classrooms, those who demand constant affirmation and always seem to be in the middle of some type of drama! Although this type of neediness exists and is not something we want to emulate, neediness for a believer in Christ is something completely different.
I must admit that I haven’t always been good at discriminating between worldly neediness and spiritual neediness. There have been times in my past when I equated neediness to weakness. Whether I should or not, I want to blame this on the time period of my childhood! Growing up in the 60s and 70s yielded a decade of change for women. Many positive movements took place during those years, and one clear message I gravitated toward was independence. It seemed from the time I was young that I was wired to do things for myself. It’s almost as if self-reliance was part of my DNA. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with being independent, but when this mindset infiltrates our relationship with Christ, we can become prideful and miss out on the blessings associated with neediness.
To be honest, it is pretty silly to deny our neediness. This may not be something we discuss often with others, but deep in our souls, we all have a sense of neediness that can only be met by our Creator. Actually, I strongly believe God created us to need Him. Why? Because…
· when we are afraid, He is our courage. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
· when we are weak, He is our strength. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
· when we are wronged, He is our avenger. (Romans 12:19)
· when we are confused, He provides wisdom. (James 1:5)
· when we are angry, He is our peace. (Philippians 4:6-7)
· when we are hurt, He comforts. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
· when we fail, He forgives and restores. (Titus 2:14)
· when everything is unstable, He remains the same. (Hebrews 13:8)
I need to say it again. GOD CREATED US TO NEED HIM.
Is it OK to be needy? YES! We not only need God to live, but we also need Him to thrive and bear fruit. Jesus painted a perfect picture of our neediness in the Word.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5) I speak from experience when I say there is nothing more frustrating than trying to bear fruit apart from God. I’m sure we have all tried to do so a time or two in our lives! We get all hyped up to do good work for God, but our attempts fall short because we have become too independent. We feel disconnected and are confused as to why God isn’t moving. Jesus reminds us in John 15 that we will not be able to bear fruit as intended apart from Him. Granted, we may be able to complete various tasks for God, but without full dependence on Him, our efforts will fall flat. Ultimately, it is a test of our faith. Do we believe we need Him, or do we think we can do everything on our own?
I find it interesting when I go on one of my “independence” tangents (consciously or subconsciously) that the power or control I seek is missing. I recognize very quickly who is really in charge, and it’s not me! I love the verse in Proverbs that says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21). One way or another God has a way of reminding us of our neediness. I will admit that it can be a bit tricky because neediness doesn’t mean passivity. We need God, but we should not just sit back and let Him do all the work. God expects us to trust Him, stay connected to Him, and seek Him as we take steps of faith to do what He has placed in front of us. Otherwise, how will we ever know how much we need Him? How will we ever experience the blessings linked to neediness if we don’t let Him meet our need?
The easiest example I can share with you is my own personal experience with writing this blog. I strongly believed over three years ago that when I started this ministry, one of the first things God was calling me to do was to write a blog. Now you need to understand that writing has never been one of my strengths. It is much easier for me to talk. Nevertheless, I felt God saying “No! Write a blog.” I’m not proud to say I resisted a bit. I basically told Him, “I’m not a writer. I’m not going to be able to come up with enough things to write about, and no one will read it anyway.” I won’t bore you with the rest of the excuses, but God did not relent!
So, by faith, I stepped out in obedience and started writing. To say I was needy is an understatement, but 224 blogs later, I am still writing. Each and every week God shows up, and I simply type on the keyboard. I could still make the same excuses I made earlier because they all still apply, but it wouldn’t matter. I’m learning through this process that God supplies when we step out in faith. It’s not about anyone else but me and Him. I wish I could tell you I don’t feel needy every single week, but that’s simply not true. Why do I think this happens? I believe it’s because God wants me to rely on Him and not be self-reliant. He wants me to need Him!
Is it OK to be needy? Absolutely! Let me ask you some very pointed questions.
· Is there something you are trying to do “for God” but are acting independent of Him?
· Has God placed a task on your heart, but because of fear you have refused to take the next step?
· Do you feel needy and overwhelmed?
If are you feeling needy in your life today, don’t feel guilty! Never forget that God loves you. He wants to meet your need. He is the only One who can. Will you trust Him?
Is it OK to be needy? Absolutely! Embrace the blessings connected to neediness!
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.