I firmly believe we are called to have fellowship and relationship with other humans. We were not created to live life or do life alone. However, it’s very important to understand the key difference between needing people, and NEEDING people. I know, it sounds like I just repeated the same words, but I promise the emphasis matters!
Needing people, in a healthy and godly way, is biblicaly mandated, and orchestrated beautifully by Christ himself.
John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
Jesus, the only righteous (and might I add WHOLE) person to ever walk this planet understood the need for friends and fellowship. He himself had friends, close personal companions with whom he shared his life. It is no mistake that Christ identified with the very human need for companionship: it is God’s design for our lives.
Often, because we have been emotionally hurt by people and scars don’t easily fade, we can find ourselves denying the need for human interaction. This can look one of two ways: isolation or obsession. It is easy to isolate from society when even one person has hurt you: trust me, I know! I recall several different seasons in my life where I threw myself into books or television, shunning my phone, shunning my friends, and turning my back on the world, only to find I was even more hurt in the process. I have also encountered seasons of obsession: times where I have been longing for and obsessed with friendship or relationship, only to be left wanting and feeling empty for the lack that I felt.
And that obsession, that emptiness, THAT is the difference between needing and NEEDING. When we look to other people to compliment and add to our lives, we recognize a need to not experience life alone. When we look to other people to complete and validate our lives, that is when we are operating in unhealthy NEED, and in danger of causing more pain for ourselves than good.
Something to think about: when you’re sitting alone on your couch, do you feel calm or anxious? When it’s Friday night and you don’t have plans with anyone, do you feel at rest or restless? In other words, when you have moments of quiet, when you’re alone with yourself, do you like the company you keep, or do you feel you NEED someone else to make your moments worthwhile? Because ultimately, your relationship with yourself is the one you’ll be walking in the longest, and if you’re not content with that company, who can anyone else fill that void?
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Until next time, I send my love!