February 4, 2018

Let your need be known to the Church.

Let your need be known to the Church.

We’re all gifted.

Every Christian in the world has a unique set of skills and abilities—gifts—that God has given them. These gifts are given so that the Church might have the use of them. Each congregation is made up of people, and each of those people can contribute to the congregation in a unique way. Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 12:

If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?  But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.If all were a single member, where would the body be?As it is, there are many parts,yet one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:17-20 ESV)

He continues,

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (1 Corinthians 12:21)

So we are all members of the church, and each of us has our part to play—and we can’t play another’s part.

I have noticed at tendency to forget this in myself and in others in my congregation. We’re ready to recognize our own gifts, and we know how to exercise them, but we forget that other people are gifted differently.

We all have needs.

Are you short of money? Are you sick? Do you need a bit of extra help around the house? Do you need a job or employees? Have you hit a “brick wall” in sharing the gospel with a dear friend? Are you stressed by everything going on in your life? Has your car broken down? Do you need a bit of extra food to get by? Are you going through the desert spiritually? Are you having trouble sorting your finances? Have you encountered a theological or philosophical or doctrinal issue that you can’t solve? Are you depressed? Do you see an area of your city that desperately needs believers to relocate there?

All of us need help, sometimes. That is the way life is; I think God has designed it that way so that we must rely on Him and each other.

Let your need be known.

Unless the Lord reveals it to them in secret, many people may never realize that you need help. I have been through a handful of churches in the last ten years, and that is one thing I’ve seen almost everywhere: I know that some in the church have need, and others can provide for it, but they don’t connect.

Why? Most often I believe it is pride: we feel ashamed to ask for help. It’s embarrassing to say we’re having a hard time providing for our family or can’t seem to do everything necessary to provide proper care for someone. It’s shameful to say that we’re caught in a net of sexual perversion, or that we just can’t seem to croak out the Gospel at the perfect moment.

But friends, we need to overcome this unwillingness to say something. How do you know that there is not someone in your congregation that would be willing to give thousands of dollars of their own money to help you climb out of your crippling debt?

I’ve been that willing person in one way or another on multiple occasions, whether it is being able to provide a bit financially or having a solid foundation in Scripture with which to tackle tough theological issues. The money might be sitting there in my account, earmarked simply to help those in need, but if the need is never made known, it cannot be fulfilled!

So let your need be known. It might feel awkward, and it’s certainly not what the world tells us to do; but do it anyway. Give others in your church the chance to exercise their gifts. Don’t deny them the chance to use their gift and for you both to be edified by it.