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The Need You Never Outgrow

I was having a conversation with a close friend yesterday, and we’ve both been very open and vulnerable with one another on struggles, dreams, prayers, and everything in between.

One thing we both agreed on (and I’ll admit it may be a “guy thing”) is when you feel like you’re struggling and reach out to those who will stand with you, but you begin to feel like you’re bothering people. I’m sure part of it has to do with pride because you don’t want to be seen as too needy, but the thought can keep you from reaching out when you need it most.

At the most desperate time, it can be a decision that has long-lasting, detrimental implications.

On the other side of things, we can believe (or wishfully think) that if we are “strong enough” we won’t need anyone to share our joys and struggles with. I’ve been there, but it never pans out. What’s really behind that though?

…we’ll arrogantly believe we’ve outgrown our needs as we’ve gotten more “spiritual.” We believe this is maturity, but “I don’t need you” is the language of the wounded heart. –The Cure

Maturity isn’t needing people less; it’s relying on them more.

When you’ve been hurt, you want to protect and preserve yourself. You want to wait until it’s safe–either you feel strong or you know nothing can possibly go wrong with sharing the most reserved parts of yourself (good or bad).

Imagine if Jesus would have protected Himself until He could trust His disciples and the crowds completely.  Instead, showing the way of grace, He lived with and poured into imperfect vessels. He was vulnerable and real. He faced rejection and persecution. He was a real human being like us and endured the same temptations.

Learning to love perfectly or trust perfectly is not the point. The point is learning to receive love. Waiting for perfection before we trust people is like expecting prompt service at a closed restaurant. –The Cure

Jesus walked on this earth perfect and people still struggled trusting Him! You have to forgo the perfection prerequisite because it’s hindering you from receiving God’s best. He designed you to receive love from others, and there is power in that receiving.

Received love turns shaky pretenders into confident dreamers. It turns miserably self-sufficient strivers into wonderfully released receivers. It turns cynical and smug judges into safe and discerning protectors. It turns anxious self-protectors into daring lovers.  –The Cure

If you think about it, the power of salvation is in receiving. The power of the Holy Spirit is in receiving. The power of grace is in receiving. It makes sense that our Father allows the power of love to be unlocked in our ability to receive it from God and others.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever hoped you’d be strong enough to not need others? How well do you receive love?

cure2Welcome to week 2 of Chapter 6 discussion of The Cure (disclosure) by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. Once again, we’ll be taking 2 weeks per chapter as these are dense and thought-provoking words. If you have a response on your blog, add the link to the widget below. Either way, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts.

Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

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  1. There are times I fall into that same trap…thinking because I’m a leader/pastor/father/husband that I’m excused from feeling hurt or needing to receive love. Thankfully Father God is helping me become more vulnerable and accepting of the love people (and Him) want to give.

    Great stuff Jason…thanks!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..Killing Lions – A ReviewMy Profile

    • I’ve seen this same process take place in my own pastor over the past 15 years, and it truly blesses me as a church member to see his maturing. We too often put pastors on pedestals and forget that they too have maturing to do in their lives. When I hear statements like yours, I am encouraged because it reminds me of the Godly leaders and pastors following Christ as an example to others. Thank you for that.
      Kari Scare recently posted..Struggling with HumilityMy Profile

      • Amen! So true, Kari.

    • Being a leader certainly adds to that pressure to “have it all together” doesn’t it? That’s the biggest reason we NEED to share ourselves and receive love and acceptance. Good thoughts, Jay! Thanks.

  2. Well, I know it’s not just a guy issue, that’s for sure. Yes, I have hoped to be strong enough to not need others. I am a pretty extreme introvert, and I can be alone for long periods of time without issue. yet, alone too much is not good for me. I need others to give me perspective and help me stay aligned with truth. I receive love by words of encouragement and acts of kindness. Though, I saw a graphic the other day that said, “Coffee is my love language,” and thought that fit pretty well 🙂
    Kari Scare recently posted..Struggling with HumilityMy Profile

    • Ha! I’m a fan of coffee, but I don’t think I would go that far! I’m the same with acts of kindness though and then probably affirmation next. I’m introverted too (as we’ve discussed in the past) which makes it harder to reach out, but I see how invaluable it has been in my life and I want to continue into that maturity. Good thoughts about perspective and truth--so important. Thanks Kari!

  3. That last paragraph is gold.
    While it’s more blessed to give than to receive, there are times we must receive.
    We must receive God’s grace, we can’t earn it. We must receive God’s love, we can’t earn it.
    And while we can trust Him, it’s hard.
    It’s even harder (for me) to trust others, but you’re right, we (I) must be willing to open myself up and receive from others. no man is an island. we need each other. we’re all part of the Body of Christ.

    • Absolutely! And He forms and places each member of the body where He desires. If we trust and believe Him in this, we have to connect in both giving and receiving God’s love and grace. Thanks so much, TC.

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