“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Christian faith can only be realized by those who admit they are needy people.
It is impossible to approach God in an attitude of self-reliance, because self-reliance is a form of competing with God to be God. But that’s just silly isn’t it? God alone is self-sufficient, not you or me. Neediness is a precondition for seeking him.
In fact, we are all needy, it's just that as Christians, we readily admit this is so.
We all begin our lives as infants, totally dependent on others, and in most cases our lives end in the same way. To be human is to be needy.
Our needs are not merely physical, they are spiritual as well. We don’t just need help for our bodies, cars, and bills, we need help for our souls. This is especially true when we are facing difficult circumstances. Which is often, because in one way or another, life is almost always hard.
Christians are not more needy than other people, but simply see ourselves as the neediest of people. What do we have that has not been given to us (1 Cor. 4:7)? How can we pay for our sins without a Savior (Heb. 9:22)? What can we do apart from Christ (Jn. 15:5)? Where are we to find righteousness for ourselves (Is. 64:6)? Then should I mention that life is usually harder for Christians (Acts 14:22, Heb. 12:7).
Life outside the Garden is hard and more than anyone else, we Christians should be quick to admit: we are needy.
Yet we spend most of our time and energy concealing our neediness, especially at church(!?). Sometimes we even call this act fellowship. We need to stop pretending and we need to learn to ask for help.
The Bible teaches that Christians are to do this often by saying: “God, I need help” and “friend, I need help.” The former is called prayer, the latter is call community which I would like to address now.
In his book, Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love, Ed Welch puts it like this: “Asking people for help makes calling out to the Lord seem easy by comparison. The Lord already knows we are weak and needy, but other people? That is a different story” (59-60).
When our pride prevents us for asking for help, we miss out on a means of blessing and change that God intends for our lives. Much could be said about this, but let us consider Ephesians 2:17-22. In this beautiful passage, Paul describes how Christ purchased our peace with God and man that we might become “one new man” (2:15). He later describes the church as a building, in which each believer is a stone, fitted together with other stones to make the dwelling place for God.
Our salvation doesn’t just connect us to God, it connects us to other people. Its a both-and arrangement. You aren’t redeemed and then sanctified in a cozy Jesus & You relationship. You are redeemed and then sanctified in a Jesus & You & Usrelationship. I know, I know… we can be a little annoying sometimes, but that’s the design.
God plucks us out of the isolation of sin and drops into a new community to be changed. (Psst… they allow kids in here, so it can get a little noisy). This a corporate process (2:21a) and its active. As Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp say, “what we become, we become together.” Or as Paul says it, “You are being built together into a dwelling place for God…(2:22)” This change takes place IN community. So we need to stop hiding from each other and we need to start asking for help.
Christ paid a great price for this salvation and for this unity, but he did not purchase your privacy. A brick has no privacy in a brick wall and there are no private suites in the household of God. When we hide from others or when we fail to ask for help, we resist God’s building process and hinder the growth he has planned for our lives.
You are needy so ask for help. Its ok. I’m needy too. In fact, I need your help.