7 Handling Overly Needy People (3,010 YouTube views). Overly needy people will literally suck the life and resources out of you. They drain you emotionally and fill you with guilt if you allow them. If you do not set boundaries, you will be contributing over and over and again and again to their addictions. Christians should be incredibly generous. Here at Life Gate, we do a good job giving help to needy people. We have our alms account specifically set up to help, but I must admit that often we give to the “OVERLY NEEDY” and not those in need. What I mean by OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE is people we attempt to help, but who do not help themselves. They are the habitually needy. They consistently find themselves in constant need and if you allow them, they will suck your life and your resources out of you.
HANDLING DIFFICULT PEOPLE
By Pastor Delbert Young
7 Handling Overly Needy People
7 Handling Overly Needy People
Scriptures: 2 Peter 2:19, 1 Corinthians 6:12, Romans 6:12-14, James 5:16, 1 John 1:9, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, 1 Corinthians 9:27
Let’s make it very clear that if you are a Christian you will, not should, have a heart for the needy. Compassion will come up within each of us to help when we encounter a person in need. If that is not your case then check to see if Christ is in you. In fact, we need to see our resources as God’s resources. Sadly, many want to have access to God’s resources when they are needy, but stingy when it comes to his accessing theirs. That is not how it should be in church.
Acts 2:44-45 And ALL THE BELIEVERS met together constantly and SHARED EVERYTHING THEY HAD. They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds WITH THOSE IN NEED.
Christians should be incredibly generous. Here at Life Gate, we do a good job giving help to needy people. We have our alms account specifically set up to help, but I must admit that often we give to the “OVERLY NEEDY” and not those in need. What I mean by OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE is people we attempt to help, but who do not help themselves. They are the habitually needy. They consistently find themselves in constant need and if you allow them, they will suck your life and your resources out of you.
We usually first think of OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE in a financial way, but there are many different types of OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE, Let’s list and discuss a few. We will begin with some not so serious, but humorous and move to the more serious and not humorous. There is the BLABBER who is the person who will no shut their mouths – blab, blab, blab. The Blabber has the habitual need to talk and give you details. They tell you about themselves and people you never met. They tell details that do not matter and seem not to even relate to their point. Then, before you know it, they have somehow begun talking about someone or something else. You wonder when they will come up for air and stop talking? Do you know a Blabber? Are you a Blabber? There is also the DRAMA QUEEN/KING. These have the habitual need to blow everything out of proportion and exaggerate. They say things like, “You will not believe what happened to me! It is the worst thing every!” Do you know some Drama Queens or Drama Kings? Are you a Drama King or Drama Queen? Let’s get more serious. There is the INCURABLY INSECURE. These are OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE who constantly ask, “Is everything ok between the two of us? Are you upset with me? Did I do something that upset you? You think I’m ugly, don’t you? You don’t love me anymore.” They have the habitual need to be insecure and have made a decision to remain that way. Nothing anyone does will fix their insecurity and they have been like this all their lives. Thus, outside of God, they are incurable. Do you know anyone like this? Are you an “Incurably Insecure” person? Here is a very serious one, the FINANCIAL LEECH. These are OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE who consistently make horrible financial decisions and wait for someone else to bail them out. They come up with all sorts of reasons to justify their horrible decisions. They never have money and they are always behind on their bills. Yet, strangely, they go out to eat or go out to party more than people with money go out. Often, they drive nicer cars than people not needing money possess. Do you know any Financial Leeches? And, oh my, are you one?
The truth is that we all are needy people from time to time, but we all are not habitually needy. Let me tell you how HANDLING OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE works out in my life. As a Christian and especially as a pastor, I truly desire to help people and especially OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE. I have a compassion for them and know I can help them if I can teach them a few principles of God’s word. However, I have learned three things over the years about HANDLING OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE. (1) Whatever I do for them, in their mind, is never enough. (2) By helping them, I make them more addicted to dependency. They are addicts to their need. You do not help a drug addict by giving them drugs. (3) Instead of their being grateful, they are very ungrateful and usually criticize me even though I attempted to help. Because of this, I begin feeling negative emotions as their ungratefulness drains me instead of making me feel good about assisting them. I begin to pull back and then I feel guilty and wonder if I am doing and feeling what a Christian should do and feel. Does anyone relate to what I am attempting to explain? I want to do what I am supposed to do, but I am afraid I may do too much, or not enough. So, where is the balance? How do you HANDLE OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE? Jesus dealt with OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE who were drawing the life out of him and his disciples.
Mark 6:31-34 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, HE HAD COMPASSION ON THEM, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So HE BEGAN TEACHING THEM MANY THINGS.
Jesus saw the need for us to distance ourselves from overly needy people sometimes to “get some rest.” Once people learn you will help them, the overly needy will chase you down. They ran after Jesus and his disciples. Interestingly, Jesus did not immediately give everyone what he or she wanted. We will talk more about this shortly. The first thing he did was TEACH THEM. The Chinese Proverb says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
The Greek word translated compassion is splagchnizomai (Strong’s #4697) and means to have the bowels yearn, i.e. (figuratively) feel sympathy, to pity. We do not need to explain this too deeply, but we all know how it physically feels for our bowels to yearn. It is a deep feeling that you cannot ignore. Translate that into how deeply Jesus felt sympathy and pity toward those NEEDY PEOPLE. Jesus cared for people in need more than anyone who ever lived, or will ever live. However, Jesus did not heal everyone. He did not give every person what they wanted. He did not grant every request. He walked through and away from crowds full of sick people. He might heal some, and not heal others. He would not grant every request and DOES NOT TODAY. What do we learn? I learn that I cannot give you a cut-and-dry “Here’s what you do every time for every overly needy person you encounter.” The reason is Jesus did not have a cut-and-dry method. How did Jesus know which needy person to help and which ones not to help? When we think about it, it is simple. Jesus listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Jesus customized every situation to the person. As we attempt to help needy people, we must let God direct us by the Holy Spirit each and every time. He will use us and customize their situation if we will listen.
There ARE some practical points that will help each of us HANDLE OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE. In addition, these points will help you understand yourself better if you are an OVERLY NEEDY PERSON. Let’s look at these points.
(1) GIVE WHAT IS NEEDED, NOT WHAT IS WANTED. OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE think they have it all figured out. They believe that if you will give them your time, or your attention, or your money, it will “fix” their situation and that is exactly what it is – a FIX. You should give them a hand up, not a hand out. There is a story in the Bible about Peter and John going to the temple to pray. A crippled man (overly needy people are crippled) who became a beggar was there “wanting” a hand out.
Acts 3:5-7 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and LIFTED HIM UP: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.
Actually, Peter did have access to money (Act 2:44-45), but that was not what the man needed. The man WANTED money, but he NEEDED a healing. Peter gave him a hand up, not a hand out. That man’s life changed forever when he received what he needed, not what he wanted. You will help OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE if you will listen to God in every situation, and give the person what they NEED, not what they WANT.
(2) RESPOND TO ACTIONS, NOT WORDS/EXCUSES. OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE will give all sorts of excuses and reasons as to why they want help. Are those reasons accurate? For example, he or she tells you they cannot find a job, but you know they have not looked for work, or not taken work offered. Their ACTIONS do not match their WORDS. Perhaps they are showing up for the job interview not bathed or properly dressed, but tell you the interviewer did not like them. He says he can’t get a date, but his action is he hasn’t brushed his teeth or put on deodorant. To HANDLE OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE, respond to actions, not words/excuses. Listen to the Holy Spirit, give what is needed, and respond to actions, not words/excuses.
(3) SET BOUNDARIES. An OVERLY NEEDY PERSON will literally suck the life and resources out of you. They will drain you emotionally and fill you with guilt if you allow it. If you do not set boundaries, you will be contributing over and over and again and again to their addictions and never help them. If someone wants your time and to be around you constantly, you must learn to say something like, we will get together Monday and Thursday, but Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I need to spend time with my family. Or, if when they call you on the phone and talk for hours, you can say something like, “I need to take care of something, but I can talk to you for 15 minutes.” If it is a financial thing, say something like “I can help you with $100 this month, but after that I won’t be able to give you any more.” Remember, if you do not set boundaries, OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE will drain you and you will not be able to do what the Holy Spirit tells you to do for others. Listen to the Holy Spirit, give what is needed (not wanted), respond to actions (not words/excuses), and set boundaries.
(4) LOVE ENOUGH TO LET THEM FACE CONSEQUENCES. God made consequences the natural teachers of life.
Galatians 6:7-8 Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires WILL HARVEST THE CONSEQUENCES of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
One of the most loving things that we can do is not interrupt God’s natural consequences. This is difficult when you love someone, but you will never help him or her until you allow God’s consequences to teach him or her. The Bible tells the story about the Prodigal Son. A son told his father that he did not want to live his father’s way anymore. He wanted his inheritance to leave. He did and because of consequences, he ended up living and eating with pigs. The truth is his father loved him enough to let him experience the consequences. Then…
(NLT) Luke 15:17 When HE FINALLY CAME TO HIS SENSES, he said to himself, At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you
The natural consequences are what helped the boy. It wasn’t prayer or giving him money. Natural consequences cause one to come to his or her senses. Consequences are God’s natural teachers. RESCUING IS NOT ALWAYS HELPING. Sometimes you must love a person enough to allow them to hit the bottom. Every one of us do a lot of things and do not do a lot of things because we have experienced the consequences. Consequences taught us. Sometimes doing this is tough love, but it is love and it is the way God loves each of us. The worst thing you can do to someone is to interrupt God’s natural consequences.
Some of you, right now, are facing bad consequences from being OVERLY NEEDY. One day, you will come to your senses. People have tried to help you and teach you, but you thought you would avoid the consequences. No. God loves you that much. Moms and dads, you sometimes need to stop rescuing and let your child learn there are consequences. I could tell you some horror stories of relatives, but we all know horror stories of people doing rescue acts thinking they were loving, but only contributing to serious downfalls later.
I will tell you a story that I seldom share. I was a senior in high school and one day several of my “friends” and I decided to skip school. We loaded up and went to a different town where we began to walk around. Some of the boys began to shoplift. I honestly did not shoplift, but that did not matter. Some store owners called the police who arrested all six of us and called our parents. My dad was working and my mom was out of town. Dad could not get off work, or didn’t want to get off work. He told the police to lock us up until he could get there. They did. I decided that day in that jail cell that I never wanted to experience those consequences again. I asked daddy that night why he did that to me. He said he felt that would be the best lesson he could teach me. He was correct. My daddy loved me and there was never any doubt about that. He loved me enough to let me experience consequences.
Maybe someone you know has financial problems and you think you helped them. Did you interrupted God’s consequences which only made the person more dependent/addicted? Hear what I am about to say. JESUS IS THE SAVIOR, NOT YOU. You are not helping OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE by always rescuing them.
There are some OVERLY NEEDY PEOPLE you love deeply as Jesus did. You have bowels of compassion and you have tried again and again to help them. We are going to pray for them now. We all know we must listen to the Holy Spirit for their customized situation. We must give what is needed, not wanted. We must respond to actions, not words/excuses. We must set boundaries and not move those boundaries. We must love them enough to let them experience the consequences. We are going to ask God to give you wisdom by his Spirit as to what you should do. For some of you, you know it is time to hand them over to God and let them face the consequences. We will love them enough to not interrupt God’s consequences, which will change their lives and change them for the good.
7 Handling Overly Needy People
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