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Hyper-focusing on problems (being too needy) can be detrimental. It can generate mistrust and anxiety. But denial (not being needy enough) is deadly. If you don’t know that you are sick or you won’t face that you are sick, you won’t seek the remedy you need.
How far should you go to question your emotional and spiritual health? If you don’t go far enough, you’re still in denial. If you go too far, you stop trusting God will take care of you.
It’s even possible to make a serious attempt to put off denial but still remain in denial. What you don’t know, you don’t know. The problem with these two unhealthy extremes is they bypass trusting God. God wants you to skip both worry and denial.
What is Too Needy?
Being too needy means you express more need than is healthy. This is another way of saying that you lack the security to trust. The extra expression manifests as pure worry. Worry is a too-activated conscience.
You could constantly worry about whether you’re missing something. For example, maybe you still have an unconfessed sin that you need to find. You feel like you need more help than even Jesus can provide.
What is Not Needy Enough?
When you are not needy, you fail to register your needs. This is another way of saying that you’ve given up hope that your needs will be met. You might feel numb or nothing at all. Denial is a too-under-activated conscience.
You could completely deny that you have any problems. For example, you’re unwilling to consider you need help. Everything is fine. You don’t need any help.
What is the Right Amount of Being Needy?
Neediness is not the problem. God designed us to be needy. You can be super needy and healthy at the same time. What you do with your emotional longings makes all the difference.
To counteract the extremes you need two healthy spiritual attitudes:
- “Jesus is sufficient help.” Jesus has the power to fully address whatever problems you face. This belief will counter an anxious response.
- “I need help.” Left to yourself, you realize you wouldn’t make it very far. This belief will counter denial.
Scripture speaks on both of these attitudes:
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.Psalm 46:1 NLT
When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”Mark 2:17 NLT
You can admit you need help, without becoming helpless. You can be in need, but not hopeless. This is a posture of waiting expectantly.
Ask God to help you see where you are sick. Unless you see, you won’t be in a position to receive God’s healing and even His blessings. Try a prayer based on Matthew 11:25 like this:
God, help me to understand my deepest needs. You keep the secrets of your kingdom hidden from the prideful but reveal them to children. Open my eyes to the wonder of who you are and who I am.
At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.Matthew 11:25 NLT
To receive the benefits of this prayer, see yourself as needy enough to receive God’s blessings, but not so needy that you believe God won’t bother to answer your cry for help.