If you think God needs you to fix someone, your God is too small
That Needy Thing You Do
PROBLEM – we are not always good at helping people
- Today, though, we are going to talk about how to deal with overly needy people, for those who seem to be habitually in need. As we start today, let’s just make this crystal clear that we, as Christ Followers, are called by God to help people who are in need…
- Today we are not talking about that group of needy people. Instead, I want to talk about those that I would call overly needy people, those that you try to help, but yet, don’t seem to help themselves, and they seem to find themselves, maybe because of bad decisions, consistently in need.
- We might want to help someone but there is the danger that we might “help” them in the wrong way. A danger is that we may believe we can make the difference when only God can.
1 We can’t fix people – but we want to.
- An unpleasant reality about changing others is that you can’t. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter if your loved one is a liar, a cheat, abused or confused, a silent victim, or total crazy-maker. You can’t change him or her. The awfulness of this is that it’s true. And the beauty of this is that it’s true. It’s beautiful because accepting gives you peace.
- People don’t change until they want to. And that doesn’t come from us but it can come through prayer.
2 Wait for them – Luke 15:11-32
- Luke 15 is known as the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The father loved the son enough to let the God-given consequences actually play out in his life so that the son would come to a place where he would come to his senses.
- Needs clarity – First of all, we need to identify the real need. What is the real need? And, we will ask God to reveal that to us.
- Needs clarity – We need to pay attention to actions, not words. When we are trying to help somebody who is overly needy, their actions and their words may not line up.
- Rescuing someone from their consequences is not helping. Enabling. You should say, “I’m praying for you. I love you. Make your own decisions,” and if they are over whatever age and they are able to make their own decisions, you have to sit back and say, “You are going to have to learn this one the hard way.” Very few say this. Lawnmower parents.
- We are not someone else’s answer, Jesus is the answer. The problem is if you think God needs you to fix everyone else, your God is too small.
3 Give them what they need – Acts 3:1-8
- When someone asks us for money we just do what’s easy and helps us feel better. What did the guy want? The guy wanted money. But what Peter and John didn’t do is they didn’t respond emotionally but led by the spirit under the power of God they didn’t give the guy what he wanted but instead they gave the guy what he needed.
- It’s so easy to give a hand out but what may take more time, may take more faith, may take more effort, may take a little more prayer, may take a little more sacrifice is giving them what they need.
- Thomas Aquinas once called on Pope Innocent II when the latter was counting out a large sum of money. “You see, Thomas,” said the Pope, “the church can no longer say, ‘Silver and gold have I none.’” “True, holy father,” was the reply; “neither can she now say, ‘Rise and walk.’”
- When you let go with love you don’t let go of the person, you let go of trying to control the outcome of another person’s actions. It means accepting that you can’t control what other people do. It means accepting that you can only change yourself. For most people that’s quite a challenge. This is the vital essence of letting go with love: you don’t let go of loving your troublesome loved one. You let go of trying to change him or her because of your trust in God.
- More importantly than wanting someone else to change is asking ourselves if God wants us to change. Psalm 139:23,24. Search me o God…
- Am I resisting what God is asking me to do and become? Prayer for God to be in control of my life…