Thursday, September 13, 2012

Calling All Cave Dwellers - A Heart Like His

Every man who was desperate, in debt or discontented rallied around him, and he became their leader.  (1 Samuel 22:2)

How do you feel towards the needy people in your life, whether strangers you pass on the street or those who live in much closer proximity?

I think we all go through periods of time when we are in need whether it is monetary, spiritual, or emotional.  There are days when we all feel especially vulnerable. There are times when we crave encouragement, when we need to vent our feelings, or when we just want someone to tell us how special or wonderful we are.
I try to reach out to others but I feel more comfortable if I am a step removed.  I don’t mind buying Thanksgiving turkeys for twenty-five families but I give it to the church to distribute.  I coupon and use some of my stockpile to donate to food pantries but I feel funny about offering to buy a street person a meal.

When I lived in DC there was an obstacle course of people begging for change and I’ve even had one chase me down the street demanding I give him money. 
When a student tells me he’s hungry or needs school supplies I feel OK about giving those things directly because I know that child.  I know his/her circumstances. 

It’s difficult for me to counsel others when they are going through a crisis because I don’t feel that I have the training to help them.  I look at my life and see how I’ve screwed my life up and I am afraid that I will only make their problems worse.  I’m better at helping student who want to quit school and I talk them into getting their diploma.
There are some needy types are people who drain your energy because they constantly require your attention, affection, or affirmation. In fact, they are desperate for any type of support you can give them.  I have more than my fair share of these emotional vampires in my family.

I understand that when people lack sufficient emotional nurturing in childhood they never grow past the stage of needing to have their worth confirmed.  Many times people who are needy find themselves living in an arrested stage of development, still looking desperately for the emotional support they lacked when they were growing up.  We grew up in a family devoid of the veneer of basic parenting so it’s easy to see why we struggle with this.
I would say that I am a paradox when it comes to my dealings with people in my life who are in need.  One might say my heart is willing but my flesh not so much as GOD requires.  I am trying to learn how to live in harmony with others, be more sympathetic, and be compassionate and humble

What do our responses toward those in need reveal about our own heart’s condition? 

I believe that my response towards those in need does show a certain arrested development in my spiritual maturity.  I need to rely on GOD for wisdom guidance so that I can grow stronger in my walk with GOD.

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