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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Should I Expect Other People To Meet My Heart-Needs?

Black hole from wikipedia commonsHeart-needs

We all have heart-needs — for security, peace, joy, and pleasure.

When our heart-needs are met we feel strong, full, and alive.  But when they’re not we feel weak, empty, and insecure.

So how can our heart-needs be met?

One possible answer

We’ve all had times when other people make us feel good.  They compliment us, or listen to us, or sympathize with us — and as a result we feel happy, encouraged, and full.

This makes us think other people can satisfy our heart-needs — and so we start relying on people to meet our heart-needs.

But as I’ve done this, I’ve discovered a problem.

I’m a black hole

A black hole is an object in space with gravity so strong it pulls everything else into it.  A black hole is never satisfied.  It’s never filled.

That’s me.

My heart is so needy that when people affirm me, listen to me, sympathize with me — it’s nice, but it doesn’t satisfy me.  I always want more.

And I’m not alone.  Truth is, we’re all black holes, and no one is able to satisfy us fully —

Except One

Here’s what Jesus promises in John 6:35 —

I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

Jesus is infinite fulness, so Jesus can completely satisfy even us black holes.

Jesus calls us to bring our heart-hungers to Him by coming to Him and believing in Him.  That means we admit our needs to Him, ask Him to satisfy us in Himself, set our hearts on who He is in His Word, and pray over those Scriptures until the Holy Spirit helps us see and feel Jesus’ glory.

When that happens all our heart-needs will be completely and lastingly satisfied — in Him.

Confirmation

This is supported by many other Scriptures —

If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’  John 7:37-38

Our heart-thirsts will be overflowingly satisfied when we come to Jesus and drink.

In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

There’s only one place where I can experience joy that’s full and lasting — in God’s presence.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. Psalm 73:25

Only God can satisfy me so much in Himself that I desire nothing else.

No comparison

So there’s no comparison between Jesus and other people.

People can satisfy maybe 5% of my black-hole-heart for maybe 5 minutes.  But Jesus will satisfy 100% of my black-hole-heart every time I turn to Him.

Which means I should rely on Jesus and not other people to meet my heart-needs.

But this raises a question —

Do I share my heart needs with others?

Since all my heart-needs can be fully met in Jesus Christ, does this mean I never share those needs with others?

Not at all.  God’s Word says I need others in the body of Christ (1Cor 12:21).  Not because they will meet my heart-needs.  But because they can help me turn to the One who will meet my heart-needs (1Sam 23:16; Heb 3:12-13).

So I should open my life to others and share the state of my soul.  I should ask them to speak into my life, to share Scripture with me, and to pray with and for me.

Because other people can help me receive heart-satisfaction in Christ.

But what if they don’t?

What if they disappoint me — and forget to call back, or don’t listen very well?

Even when people disappoint you, all your heart-needs can still be met.  Because they are met in Jesus Christ, not in other people.

So turn to Him.  Tell him about your disappointment.  Thank Him for His promises.  Ask Him to fill you with Himself.  And pray over God’s Word until you feel the Holy Spirit making Jesus’ presence real to you.

Even if others fail you — Jesus will never fail you.  He will always completely satisfy you in Himself.

One more question

If we are all relying on Jesus, and not on others, to meet our heart-needs — then should I stop trying to meet other people’s needs?

No.  But there’s a difference between people’s heart-needs for joy, meaning, and fulness (which only Christ can satisfy) — and their other needs (which I might be able to satisfy).

For example, I know that in myself I can’t satisfy my wife’s heart-needs.  But I can point her to the One who will satisfy her heart-needs — by sharing God’s promises with her, praying for and with her, studying God’s Word together, and encouraging her faith.

And — I can seek to meet her other needs by rinsing the dishes, asking about her day, sharing my heart with her, and telling her I love her.

So we serve others by pointing them to the One who can satisfy their heart-needs, and by doing what we can to meet their other needs.

Summing it up

Don’t rely on other people to meet your heart-needs.  They can’t.  But Jesus can.

So take every heart-need to Jesus Christ and let His glory, beauty, majesty, and mercy fully satisfy you.

His fulness turns black-hole-hearts into overflowing-with-love-hearts.

Comments?  Feedback?

I’d love to hear — leave a reply below.  Thanks.

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(Picture is from Wikipedia and is in the public domain.)

Category: Anger, Love, and Forgiveness, God's Promises

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2 Responses

  1. guin says:

    thank you very much for this post. it comforts my heart which has been broken in various ways and is still wounded. pray for me to love the LORD JESUS as HE commands,demands and deserves. I’m kind of fearful to get closer, fearful of what’s next. wrestling with consequences of choices and GOD’s sovereignty and when things just don’t make sense.

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