Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Need to Be Needed

I start most days with some time in scripture and with some passages from some of my favorite devotional writers. It helps me to focus on the Word of God and absorb the wisdom of others who have been on this journey with Christ. Lately I have been spending time with C.S. Lewis and listening to his heart as he shared with his reader’s insight into the heart of God.

I have long held that humanity has two great needs: to be loved and to love. It is not original with me and it is not a new idea, but this morning as I was reading Lewis I was struck by another need that humanity has that can, in many ways, be both appositive and a negative: the need to be needed. In many ways we all have this built into us. In another way it can become the driving impulse of our lives.

As Lewis notes in “Mere Christianity” this need can be one of the greatest temptations to resist. It makes us feel important, useful, productive and vital. It can, when not tempered with the humility of Christ make us arrogant, selfish and dependant on our own strength rather than the strength of Christ.

I love lessons in leadership. I am avidly reading and connecting with people who I see God using to lead so that I may glean from their experiences. But what if our leadership is “me” driven and not Christ driven? What if it is not a need or desire to build His kingdom but ours? How do we temper our giftedness, leadership and service with humility, grace, and honor for Christ?

This morning before I read Lewis I read Romans 12. In that passage Paul gives us the secret to how to live a life of being needed without it becoming a prideful lust of our hearts.

“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Romans 12:3

In other words, think of yourself rightly through the eyes of God. See yourself as you are. Don’t think more of yourself so as to become brash and arrogant. And don’t think of yourself as worthless and unnecessary. Instead, think clearly as God sees you: a child of the King.

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