Do You Need to Be Rescued?
The need to be rescued is a cultural phenomenon that affects many areas of our society today. We are in a severe state of neediness and incompleteness that has rendered us spiritually impoverished. Not everyone is aware of their neediness. Jesus described those who are aware of their neediness as poor in spirit. The Greek word for “poor in spirit” is ptochos, which means a cringing beggar, dependent on others for survival. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Our state of incompleteness drives us outside of ourselves to God as the source of healing and hope.
Broken-heartedness is related to spiritual poverty. It is the state of being wounded or crushed by some loss, person, hurt, injustice, or circumstance. When a person is downcast because of an emotional, relational, or career injury, they can be brokenhearted. God has a special tenderness for this condition. Broken-heartedness often brings about a sense of spiritual poverty as it shows us our need. This dark night of the soul of deep need stems from experiences of feeling unworthy, ashamed, or guilty. It can feel like a cold, blustery wind blowing inside. Who or what will rescue me from this pain? What will fill this empty, cold darkness? To feel so tortured can be like living in hell. What will cover and soothe the inner pain? Some people will eat; others will drink alcohol or use drugs. Some escape with risky sexual behavior, credit cards, gambling, and spending money beyond their means or working long hours without a day off or holiday. All of these addictive, fear-based behaviors are choices based on our inner lack and the want to be rescued.
The need to be rescued by someone or something outside of ourself is responsible for codependent, addictive, and often abusive relationships, as well as for financial and health problems. A constant need creates difficulty in all aspects of our life. For example, imagine you have a job, but you need money. You are really scared. The job you have is not the one you really want, but it pays the bills. Maybe you think having money will make you feel more secure about yourself. In your mind, you rationalize (rational lies) how great you will feel and what you will get from the situation.
Have you ever heard the statement, “As a man thinketh in his heart, he becomes”? What we focus on and put energy into is what we get.
Spiritual poverty is a rich part of the growth process. The more broken we are, the more God can grow us up. What do we need to be happy and well adjusted? The basic needs for anyone are food, shelter, air, and love. Even having those things, most people still feel need or lack. You may covet many things, particularly material objects and experiences (a car, boat, a stereo, money, sex, or maybe chocolate ice cream).
Healthcare providers, like doctors, nurses, firefighters, and emergency-care people, are here to rescue us but only over the short term, until we can get past the injury so we can go on with our lives. Ministers and priests are here to assist us in our lives as counselors. Mothers, fathers, and family members are to show their love and wisdom. No one can make another person feel or change. There is no perfect life. We are just being human. So who is really in charge of us?
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