in John 15:5, Jesus said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” This week, I will reveal my neediness.
Telling the truth, even to the point of revealing your needs, is a virtue.
I don’t want you to know that I need anything at all. That’s my natural human tendency.
But at its core, that’s pride. Actually, I want you to think of me as better — more self-sufficient, of higher quality — than I really am.
It’s a deadly route to take. “For whoever exalts himself,” Jesus says in Matthew 23:12, “will be humbled.”
If I don’t reveal my need, I am very likely to suffer all the side-effects of unmet needs!
On the other hand, if I’m willing to make myself — and my ministry — transparent and vulnerable, I may be surprised to find that God provides … because “Whoever humbles himself,” Jesus goes on to say, “will be exalted.”
The spiritual exercise of revealing one’s own neediness is marvelously intertwined with the spiritual exercise of giving. It works like this: God has designed people to give to each other, and he cleverly promotes his design — by meeting one’s needs through another’s giving. Giving cultivates relationships, and relationships are the heart of the biblical concept of community. God’s great goal for his people here on earth is that we will “be one” (John 17:20,21). That’s a picture of community — relationships in action. A system of giving to meet one another’s needs fosters those community-building relationships.
All of which tells us that other people’s support for us, in our time of need, is not only good for us, but also good for them. If I reveal my neediness, I don’t have to pity the person who gives in order to meet my need. It’s good for them. God designed us to mature as we reveal our needs, and mature as we give to those in need.
It would be bliss to go through life without a problem, a setback, or a crisis. But it wouldn’t be real life. Problems will happen — yet even a crisis can become a blessing. While admitting it won’t much gratify my sense of self-esteem, it can be a blessing to the one who learns the news, to be able to pray, offer encouragement, respond in some way.
“I’m hurting.” “I’m confused.” “I’m short of funds.” “I’m struggling.” Say what’s actually happening — good and bad alike — and see how God inspires people to step up. You may actually be surprised and pleased by the results.
My Prayer for the Next Seven Days… Lord, I don’t really want to admit my neediness. I don’t want people to see me as I am. I don’t naturally trust people to understand and cut me some slack. But since I don’t do it naturally, help me to do it supernaturally. Give me divine courage to reveal the truth about myself to those around me, and about my ministry to those who are a part of it. Then provide for me, through them. Thank you, God! Amen.