“Relational Vampires: Needy People”

Week 3: How do I love a needy person?
 
How do I love a needy person?
Remember – A chronic problem is not solved by a crisis solution.
 
We give strategically. – Aim to give a hand up, not a hand out
We serve wisely. – You can’t say “yes” often unless you say “no” occasionally
We trust God completely. – Don’t steal God’s glory by writing yourself into someone else’s story
 
Bottom Line: Its only hard to love a needy person when I forget how Jesus meets my needs.
 
Further Conversation
1. Dogs or cats, which are overly needy? Why?
2. Who are a few of the most life-giving people you know? What makes them different?
3. Read Acts 3:1-13a. What surprises you most about this story? When has a need of yours ended up serving a greater purpose?
4. What are some potential dangers when giving emotionally? How can helping sometimes hurt? How have you experienced this?
5. You can’t say ‘yes’ often unless you say ‘no’ occasionally. How does it make you feel to say no? What makes you feel this way?
6. Share a story about when you or someone else tried to play God’s role of rescuer/hero? What would you do differently now?
7. Read John 13:34-35. What do you need to change to better love people who have needs? What actions will you take to trust God with your needs? How can Christ Church help?
 
Daily Devotions: Go Deeper this Week
 
Monday – Acts 2:42-47
Evangelism and faith sharing terrify many people. We’re often so afraid we’ll say something wrong or look dumb. Maybe we’ve heard the bullhorns screaming judgement or been confronted by pushy people with pamphlets. But the early church practiced a different kind of evangelism. They shared in such a way that no one had need. Yes, preaching and teaching in public took place. But it was the love shared and needs being met that drew people into the community. Truth is, we all are needy. Jesus continues to meet our needs, often through the church. How have you been open to the church about your needs? How have you shared with others through the church? Who do you know that needs Jesus like this?
Pray: LORD Jesus, help the church become a place of incredible openness and sharing. And help me lead the way.
 
Tuesday – Luke 18:35-43
The people yelled “be quiet!” Can you imagine standing next to Jesus and telling a person in need to “be quiet!” I doubt the crowd was especially cruel. My guess is that Jesus was speaking and the crowd didn’t like the distraction. Overly needy people are often an exhausting distraction. After a while, our resources are drained and our patience has worn thin. But this story reminds us to not miss the opportunity for a miracle. Those that scorned the needy person almost missed witnessing a healing. When it was all over, everyone marveled at what God had done. It became another story to share. When we push needy people away, we risk missing seeing Jesus at work. Who do you know that really needs to be brought to Jesus?
Pray: Jesus, Son of God, please do let my eagerness for you or my weariness of others distract me from seeing you work in the world.
 
Wednesday – Mark 1:35-39
My son really wants me to buy a new Jeep. He loves those things! He points them out everywhere we go. I so wish I could buy one, but I can’t afford it. Many of us know this type of frustration. The truth is, we can not give what we do not have. Same goes concerning spiritual matters. If we don’t take time to allow Jesus to fill our souls, we won’t have the love or spiritual energy to share with others. Even Jesus took time by himself to be refueled through prayer. How is your spiritual gas tank? How generous are you being? How can you take time today to let Christ refuel you?
Pray: Almighty God, refresh and restore my spirit. I can’t give what I don’t have. I want to share you with others in need.
 
Thursday – Galatians 6:7-10
We don’t like watching people we love go through hurt. Yet, have we ever considered how our love can cause hurt. Its so important to know the difference between a crisis and a learning opportunity. A crisis requires immediate help. However, when we sow sin or continually make poor choices, the consequences may be the learning opportunity we need (and God will use) to bring change. Interjecting and holding back the full weight of those consequences could actually enable us to stay in an unhealthy pattern. We harvest what we sow. Hunger is a great motivator to cause us to consider sowing something different. How have your struggles taught you? Who do you need to love enough to let them hunger?
Pray: Heavenly Father, please give me the love and wisdom to know when and how to best to help those in need.
 
Friday – Psalm 70:5
Before & After photos can be incredibly motivating. I have a friend who lost over two hundred pounds. Her two pictures tell a tale of need, determination, and change. She is an inspiration because her story offers hope to others who have a similar need. We all have ‘before’ stories. We all are born into need. We are broken people who have made a mess of something in our lives. Hopefully, you are experiencing change and healing in Jesus. Whatever you do, don’t loose track of that ‘before’ story. The Psalmist urges us to remember our need. What is your story? Where is your need? How is Jesus changing you? Our story humbles us. It gives us empathy for others in need. And it gives others hope when we share it. Who do you know that could benefit from your story?
Pray: LORD Jesus, thank you for how you meeting my needs and healing my soul. Help me share my story of your power in my life.
 
Saturday – John 13:34-35
Sometimes helping hurts. TOMS shoes is renown for their buy one give one policy. For every pair of shoes you buy from them, they give a pair of shoes to a person in an impoverished country. The problem is that giving shoes away actually causes shoe-makers to go out of business in those communities. Likewise, studies show giving clothes away to poor countries in Africa harms the local economy. We must be thoughtful in our desire to help. We must see the people and their potential, not a problem or a project. Jesus loved us. How will we love others? Its worth doing right.
Pray: Loving God, may we model ourselves after the way you love and truly get to see the person and know their need.