Being Needed

relying on each other

relying on each other

Valuable, Important, Significant… maybe? But “Needed”… well, we tend to think of ourselves as expendable, because we do not like the risk of being depended upon or depending upon others.

Recently someone told me they could get by in life without me. Ouch, I thought, until I recognized that “being needed” was a huge responsibility. These folks were offended by me and discovered that they had let go of their balance in healthy relationship.

When we are needed by someone, enormous expectations can be placed on us to measure up or act “right” in their eyes.

 When we are needed the most, we sometimes find ourselves out of answers or out of touch or out of money… but the demands for our time seduce us to perform anyway. Been there, done that and I own the T-shirt. Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are people who need me and should need me. God has designed us to need one another on many levels, like my family or friendship or spiritual mentorship. A caution is appropriate however;

 we must have some boundaries to our neediness that make our relationships more healthy.

 It is never good to follow only one leader, listen to only one counsel or become isolated from accountability. One of the dangers in needing other people is that it creates a vulnerability and dependence that can steer us away from a pure reliance upon Christ. Creating balance through setting boundaries in all of our relationships is a safeguard that truly helps us sustain our integrity and trust-worthiness.

Being needed and needing others can be accomplished today in a healthy and effective way, but our society has become so broken that the challenge can be overwhelming to our emotional stability.

 “Hurting people, hurt people” a wise pastor once told me.

I think it is important to note however, that Jesus modelled relational evangelism as the pattern to transform our culture. If you decide to take on the challenge of changing your corner of the world, then you will have to adjust. Being needed and needing other folks as part of the “gig”. It hurts at times when people get offended based on our human limitations, but we gotta let it go and remind ourselves that anything in excess looses its balance.

The simple Truth is that people often “want” something from human relationships, that God has never given permission for them to “need”… unconditional approval.

 We all must put God first and recognize that balancing our “wants and needs” can be tricky.

People who “need” our approval can be dangerous, because they generally are lacking an awareness of God’s approval. On the flip side, when we gain our sense of approval by allowing others to depend upon our counsel as the only real truth, then “we” are dangerous. When we become aware of the power of God’s love and acceptance, we are less susceptible to the need for man’s approval and more forgiving toward each other. We must allow our relationships to be valuable as well as vulnerable. People can be important to us and still offer hope to others. 

I like to be needed and I really appreciate those who follow my leadership with balance and discernment.

I’m reminded of the Berean Believers in the Bible who searched the Scripture to make sure that all the teaching of the early Apostles was accurate and in the will of God for them (Acts 17:10-15). The most important thing to realize as we experience relationship together, is that  balance makes us benefit more from what is being modelled before our eyes. Scripture tells us that in the last days people will gather those around them who will tell them only what their itching ears want to hear… not what they need (2 Tim 4:3-5). Being needed requires needed boundaries and balanced relationship.

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