Thursday, July 21, 2016

Neediness ... Weakness?

Have you seen this crazy movie? (You just learned my opinion.) Bob, Bill Murray, is pictured above with his therapist, played by Richard Dreyfuss. Bob is neurotic, phobic, obsessive-compulsive, and much more - majorly needy!  Not literally, but inside crying for attention.

Do you ever have Bob-moments? 
What is the path they lead you down?

            N - an accurate word picture.

Bob experiences attention deficit that he tries to fill with the wisdom of a professional; neediness exudes. Some see, and Bob feels, weakness.

Our needs are NOT weaknesses.

"It is the nature of the soul to need." Soul Keeping, p.81. 
God created us with needs so He can be our provider, so He can meet those needs. My friend, Bill Thrall says it this way, "Love is the process of meeting needs." 

Needs invite us to experience God more deeply.

Needs are not weaknesses; they are opportunities to receive and experience love, the love of God and the love of others.

We all came into this world with a Bob complex, with the need for attention ... among other needs. When I admit it, I have the opportunity to deepen relationships. Needing attention is not a weakness.

As a young wife and full-time missionary, I didn't get this. Yes, I knew I wanted attention, but if I had been brave enough to voice that, I would have learned I was seeking the attention in all the wrong ways. I thought wanting attention showed neediness, weakness, and I sure didn't want to own those descriptors. My self-esteem suffered, I began to believe lies like I'm not good enough. SHAME! It never, NEVER occurred to me to take my neediness, my desire for attention to God. 

I'm discovering that my attention needs are met in relationship, relationship with God and relationship with others.

God created me; he knows me and the needs he put in me to draw me to him. When I pay attention and listen to the words he whispers to me, I experience his attention; his love. 

I was sitting on a sofa in front of the quiet fire reading one of Brennan Manning's books early one spring day. As I turned to the new chapter, Brennan opened with Song of Solomon 7:10, "I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me." In those few words God's love exploded in my heart; I experienced his attention! I knew he called me beloved, but the thought that he had desires for me, WOW, that was overwhelming. And if God is for me, who can be against me? God gives attention by paying attention to the details, the desires of my life. In receiving his attention, I receive his love.

Often God meets the needs I have for attention through others, like my husband. Unlike God, he is not all-knowing. Sometimes I initiate and share my attention needs with him. In doing that I give him permission to meet those needs. And I experience his love.Sometimes I don't and the downward path begins. I experienced God meeting that need through Bill earlier this month when he publicly shared how I met one of his needs. It was humbling and affirming; God met that need through Bill.

 On Sunday mornings, our pastor often brings our time of worship to a close with the familiar words from Numbers 6:24-26, "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."

As I look down the pew, many are standing with hands uplifted. We want to receive this blessing.

The pronouns in this scripture are all personal. This is a blessing for us individually. And an accurate picture of this verse is of God stopping in front of you, focusing his eyes on yours, giving you his full, undivided attention, and offering his peace. Shalom, the most positive words he can offer for our well-being.

My need for attention is not weakness; it is an opportunity to experience the love of God.

How about you ... are you allowing God to meet your needs? To show you his personal love?


  1. Beautiful. I love everything about this Sue. I especially love how it reminds all of us that, " our need for attention is not weakness; it is an opportunity to experience the love of God." That message is pure gold!!!

    1. Oh Nancy,
      You my friend are a gifted encourager! Thank you for your pure gold words.

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