By Kim Goad
“I’d be very careful of associating with her; she’s very needy.”
I was shocked. This comment, said with a hint of ominous warning and raised brow, was from a mature Christian in a church leadership role. Not only that, but she was talking about a woman with an abusive past who was bravely seeking healing in Christian community.
My friend’s comment tapped into one of my own fears. Had others viewed me as needy when I sought their presence, encouragement and prayers during my own times of crises?
The fear of being needy will keep a husband glued to the pew even when he knows elders are willing to pray with him. The fear of being needy will cause a son to cut himself night after night while his parents sleep in the next room. The fear of being needy will prompt a teenager to purge her feelings into a toilet rather than to her youth minister.
How many people are suffering silently so as not to appear needy? Even King David wrote, “I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me . . . I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they shake their heads.”
What courage it takes to admit neediness. To say, I’m scared. Or, I’m lonely. Or, I need to know that when you say you’re praying for me, you’re really praying for me.
But there is an upside to being needy.Francis Chan wrote, “If you have not known and experienced God in ways you cannot deny, I would suggest that you are not living in a needy and dependent way.” And when others scorned him, King David focused his attention on the very Lord who, he wrote, “stands at the right hand of the needy.” When you are so needy that others can’t or won’t meet your needs, it is then that you get to experience the undeniable power of Christ to meet your needs.
Jesus looked at the paralyzed man lowered through the roof, and the woman who’d been bleeding for twelve years, and the grieving widow who had just lost her only son, and the woman caught in adultery and rather than say Sorry, you’re too needy, he comforted them. Friend, your sins are forgiven. Daughter, your faith has healed you. Don’t cry. Go and sin no more.
He has comforted us so that we can carry each other’s burdens, so that we can pay it forward. The truth is we have all been needy. And, at just the right time-when we were still powerless-Christ died for us.
It doesn’t get any needier than that.
Kim Goad, MS,is an author, speaker, consultant, and therapist. She is coauthor of One Girl Can Change the World and Inked: Choosing God’s Mark to Transform Your Life. Find her online at www.InkedbyGod.com and on Twitter at @InkedbyGod.