Sunday, January 13, 2013


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 and on Twitter at @InkedbyGod.


  1. Great words - and unfortunately true that Jesus is better equipped for our neediness than our Christian communities are at times. I will never forget the resounding silence in a living room several years ago when my husband and I apparently shared too much at a church relationship-building dinner. We shared about loneliness and wanting to be more connected in the church community, it seemed appropriate for the gathering. We needed friends. No one followed up. Ouch.

  2. Ouch, indeed, Carla! Unfortunately, I and too many others I've talked with have also experienced that "resounding silence." May they know we are Christians by our love!

  3. I struggle with this sooo much! I don't want to be percieved as needy and so I press on and find myself feeling lonely. I find myself reluctant to open up to my church friends, I have a perception that they want me to be untroubled. My unchurched neighbors and friends seem to understand and accept my broken places more readily.

  4. Kim, I think the problem you write about is huge for pastors. We know our people want us to have our stuff together, so we put on a plastic smile and act like we do, even when we don't. How many pastors have fallen into sin because needs were buried instead of confessed and addressed?

    One more thing...I think some of the cynicism toward needy people arises from what I call the "professionally needy" person. We've all met this individual. He is needy, but won't take advice or make changes because he, frankly, likes being needy. I remember counseling a man about once a year for ten years...always about the same issue. Every time I gave him the same advice, and every time he ignored it.

  5. Great point, Mark! The onus is on those of us who are needy to receive the love and heed Christian counsel. Reminds me of when Jesus asked the guy who'd been invalid for 38 years, "Do you want to be healed?"

  6. I was raised in church and have felt "needy" most of my life. After only a few months in a new town and new church I attended my women's pray group that ended up being just the two of us that day. I told my new friend that I had trouble getting out of bed that morning because of feeling sad. Her quick response was, "Don't they have a pill for that?" Maybe I did need a pill for that but I know I needed something else as well. She did not know how to "go there" with me. I'm not sure I would have known how either. By God's grace I want to listen well and respond appropriately. I hope the church can do a better job of accepting and praying for emotional needs as well as physical needs.

  7. Many are comfortable with the notion of being needy for Christ, for all He did, does and will do on our behalf...things we could not do, don't do or do so poorly. Not everyone though for sure, even within the Church.

    Talk about needing others though...about being vulnerable asking for prayer, for actually stopping and praying, for being there, for hugs, for not just answering "fine" anytime ever asks you how you are...not only do we accurately sense others not wanting us to really share with them, but sometimes it is hard to admit we really do need people...we would appear weak, show where we fail, that we are hypocrites, etc.

    May God convict us where we need convicting this area being our deep need for Him and how we can revel in glorifying Him in that, and to needing others and how in that we can share together in glorifying him through our strength together in Him and lifting each other up to Him. It is not easy, but the good in life rarely is.

  8. Hi...found this through Twitter and @MichelleChushatt. I was one of the needy ones...I mean REALLY needy. I came into the church at 23-years-old as fragile as a dead moth's wing. I was seriously mentally ill and had just lost my brother to suicide. Three years later, I was still needy..and then my father killed himself too. I know for a fact that if my church had resisted my neediness, put up walls and boundaries around it, I would not be alive today. But they opened their hearts...they allowed God to use their love. And today I am a psychotherapist. Let's be God's heart to the hurting.

  9. Excuse me, above is Michelle Cushatt's Titter handle, but spelled wrong. Sorry Michelle! It's @MichelleCushatt. Thanks!

  10. So grateful for all these comments. And for Kim's post that clearly hit a nerve big time. Let us all draw close to Jesus in our time(s) of need.