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The Needs Paradox

Christianity is full of contradictions.

  • To live, you fist must die.
  • To gain, you must lose.
  • To be free, you submit yourself to God.

Most of these are not debated as such, but there is one that doesn’t get the treatment it deserves.

It’s all about you, but it’s not all about you.

Let me explain this because you very well could be confused. There is a life-giving truth that transforms us, that while we were yet sinners, dead in trespasses and sins, Jesus came for us. Not only for us, He died for me. He rose again. I was the lost sheep and He left the ninety-nine to come find me. I was of such importance that He left heaven and it’s splendor so that I would know true freedom and restoration in all things.

It’s all about me, and it’s glorious!

But we also learn that the reverse is true. It’s not all about what I want, when I want it. My desires are to be submitted to His and I honor Him with my obedience. He heals and restores so that I can go and do likewise. Freely I have received, freely I must give. It’s not good enough to say one thing and live another. I must forgive, bless, honor, encourage, lift up, support, and fight for people who have no voice and even those I don’t like that much. God loves and shows compassion to others through me, but it’s His grace that promotes this in my life.

It’s not about me, and that’s a good thing.

Here is the question i want to pose though, are we 100% using these at the right time? I believe and have seen that sometimes we apply an eternal truth at the wrong time and it trips us up. If it’s not in the heart and mind of God, even His word profits nothing (look at Satan quoting scripture to Jesus in the wilderness).

If you have a legitimate need, Jesus wants to heal and touch you. You don’t need to feign humility and keep saying, “Oh, it’s not really about me. I’ll keep going.” Jesus never wanted disciples who were dead inside. We are crucified with Christ, yet we now live! Christ Himself is to live in us. There are things that stop us from expressing that life and a misapplied truth will certainly cause the hurt to go deeper.

Another problem is that others can use this phrase like a hammer to beat people into place. “Listen, it’s not all about you. You just need to suck it up and move on.” Salvation doesn’t come because we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and neither does healing and freedom. Don’t listen to lies that keep telling you to move on without dealing with issues. It’s a recipe for despair, discouragement, and disaster.

If you need legitimate help for anything, it’s all about you. Find someone to pray, someone you can trust to open up with you too. You may need to forgive others as your Father has forgiven you. You may need to have grace applied to your failures and shortcomings. Whatever it is, don’t avoid it. Let Him love and change you. Embrace that healing.

When you get to that place of restoration, however long it takes, hold onto it and help others get there too. It’s for freedom He set us free and then you’ll be blessed to proclaim, “it’s not all about me” once again.

It’s a beautiful paradox. What are your thoughts?

12 Comments

  1. You are so right Jason, it is a paradox. Seems the life of a Christ-follower is one big one! It goes against the grain with so many of them. Finding that balance is tough. But like you state: it is a beautiful paradox. Wouldn’t want it any other way.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..ServingMy Profile

    • I truly believe it’s stuff like this that makes it impossible to rely on our formulas, rules, and human wisdom. It promotes total dependence on God to know what truth to apply when. We need the Holy Spirit! Thanks so much, Bill.

  2. Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. ~ Luke 11:46

    When we refuse to recognize that as individuals we sometimes need help and can’t do it alone, we load ourselves up with burdens we cannot carry.

    We are not alone. We are not meant to stand alone.

    It is all about us being enabled to stand.
    It is all about us being enabled to help others stand.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..A Jealous and Angry GodMy Profile

    • Amen. And that verse says it perfectly: lack of compassion dishonors our Father and others. Lord, help us guard our hearts…

      Thanks Dusty.

  3. “Salvation doesn’t come because we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and neither does healing and freedom” WOW, if we could just let that sink in! And you are so right, it is all about us and not about us at all, but about Jesus living in us and through us. It is a lifelong process of moving “us” out of the way so that God can do His work. Beautifully put! Lori
    Lori recently posted..A bus filled with blessingMy Profile

    • It can be such a hard lesson to learn! We think we’re being spiritual, we think we’re being strong--all the while, Jesus is standing there knocking and telling us that His yoke is easy and burden is light. He is the Healer and wants to express it in our hearts and lives. Thanks Lori.

  4. It’s a fine line isn’t it? The heart check picture is perfect. Words don’t mean that much if they don’t align with God’s words and our hearts. We’re all different with different bends. I think for some of us we need to be more selfless and remind ourselves that it’s not all about us. For others though, they need to find more pride in who were are because of Who made us and Who we belong to. This isn’t a “one size fits all,” type of blanket.

    Seeking God is the only way we’re going to find exactly who we are and where we fit in the scale of “It’s all about me.” Well there you have it, my two cents, or empty aluminum can as it were…

    • Ha! Yeah, I understand what you mean, Floyd. I know for myself personally there have been times I delayed things and other times where I couldn’t have handled a particular work of His freedom at that moment. It’s all about context and all about relationship with Him. He knows and He provides the opportunity and the grace to see us through. I’m so glad! Thanks so much.

  5. There is an understanding that I have come to over the years. That is, that God sees through our false humility, pride and everything else that is false. God knows when I’m being false, and when that happens, I can only shake my head and say I’m sorry. It’s not that difficult to fool people into seeing us a certain way, but we can’t fool God. The smart bet is to be ourselves; the good, the bad, and the ugly. God will be there for us as long as we keep on trying.

    • It sounds funny, but I have found that it takes a lot of work to be ourselves. That’s not to say it’s not worth the time and effort because like you said, it puts us in position to receive and stay close to our Father. Great thoughts, Mike. Thank you.

  6. I think that it is very necessary to “rightly divide the Word” if we are to full understand this beautiful paradox. And it is beautiful indeed. I like your post because as I read it the word “balance” comes to mind. Without balance we fall prey to selfishness or a lack of self-care. Either of these is destructive and harms the body of Christ as a whole. Because what affects one of us, affects all of us whether we care to admit it or not.

    I’ve been through a few things in my lifetime (I feel suddenly old as I type that line). This verse came to mind as I was reading your words. I’ve found it to be how things work for me personally.

    “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” II Cor 1:3-5

    Many days I am able to give to others because of what I have received during my times of need. Sometimes God comforted me directly. Other times through people. I don’t like being needy but I like the results of having been needy. It makes me better able to minister to others.

    I’m thankful it’s not all about me, but all about Him working in and through me.

    • Caring for ourselves has been widely misunderstood in the body of Christ. We take our emotional health as secondary ad spiritual as primary, but they both affect the other. We are connected, the parts of ourselves and to others. I love the scripture you quote. It blows the idea of just ‘plowing through pain’ out of the water. He doesn’t cause the pain, but He comforts us in it and releases us to comfort others. It’s a beautiful thing! Thanks so much, Melinda, for your wise and thoughtful comment.