The moments of giving love are some of the most satisfying moments of life. We know inside, we are made for this. Love. Giving love. Receiving love. On the flip side, one of the most difficult things for me to do is to reach out to specific people for love. These are people who know me, who can give me something I wouldn’t have otherwise. They give me love. Sometimes it is words. Sometimes it is just spending time together.
Most people I talk to have a difficult time reaching out for love. I think it is a self-worth thing. Maybe there’s even some weird thing inside of us that says, “If I give love, then I’ll be acceptable.” But we learn over time that isn’t true love. It is more of a co-dependent, needy love. Now, someone might say, “We all need people. What’s wrong with being needy?” I believe we all need others to live this life. But there’s a difference between being needy and needing. In general, needy people suck the life out of others. They never have enough. They constantly are in need of emotional support. At first in a conversation, they say things are fine. But they generally pout until someone asks them, then they open up their exhaustive, laundry list of things that are wrong. Everywhere they go, they are looking for someone to complete them or fix them. That’s what I mean by needy. “Needing” people are people who are upbeat, positive, and enjoying life, but understand they have needs. If they are going to take care of others, they need to let themselves be taken care of. Some Super-Christians might say, “I don’t have needs. I’ve given everything to Christ, and He gives me everything I need.”
Well, God decided He wanted you to have real people you could depend on, so He gave you other people. You’re not the Messiah. Don’t get a Messiah-complex that you have to be there for everyone all the time. That does no one any good, especially you. Besides, even Jesus took His closest three with Him into the garden on the night of His betrayal, and asked them, “Will you stay up and pray?” Even Jesus reached out in His own unique way.
Here’s the deal: You and I have needs. If we don’t acknowledge what we need, we rarely will get what we need. If we don’t get what we need, it will be very difficult to live the life God wants us to live. This leads to the big thing that I want to talk about today which is actually vulnerability. It’s my belief that the people who have to be there for everyone are often the most insecure. (I’m talking from some personal experience here.) If you’re there for them, then you can find your worth in them needing you. However, people who are always there for everyone else often have the biggest void in their life. They stay busy, running in circles, trying to be everything for everyone, but finding no end to the vacancy inside their heart.
What we all need is to say to someone, “I need you to help me here” or “I need you to encourage me” or “I need to be loved right now” or “I need you to listen to me, I promise I’ll condense it and keep it to fifteen minutes” or “I need a hug” or “I need to know if I actually am doing anything worthwhile with my life, because I don’t feel like it right now.” One reason we so rarely reach out is we are terrified if someone saying we are not worth their time, energy, effort, or care. If we reach out, and they tell us we’re not worth it, then they just verified what we believed. If they agree with what we believe, then we were right. We aren’t worth their time, energy, or love. What we fail to see is that most people actually want to give love. All human beings were created to give love, and receive love. Some do this in more healthy ways than others, but this is within each human being. We are made for love.
The moment you reach out by asking someone to love you is the moment you are giving love at a very high, unique level. You are saying, “I need you” or “I believe you can give me something no one else can” or “I trust you” or “Without you, I don’t know where I would be.” Admitting you are a needing person allows you to reach out to someone else. You invite them into your heart by saying you need something from them. You are saying you trust them, and I would even say, that you love them. Asking for love is giving love, and it puts you in a position for that person to ask you when they are in need. You are the one who initiated it, all because you let yourself be vulnerable. Give love. Ask for love. Receive love. Give more love. It’s a beautiful life, isn’t it?
David Skidmore, Singles Leader