OBSTACLES TO INTIMACY
(AKA the three main symptoms of a full emotional cup. You might have some measure of all three.)
View of self: Denying my neediness. “I have no needs. But if I did, I’d take care of them myself.”
Revelation 3:17: “You say, 'I...do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
Galatians 3:1–5: “After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing?” [Those stuck in self-reliance truly suffer for nothing.]
View of God: God/the Church/the Gospel is . . . unessential to my needs.
Might manifest as: impatience, irritation, numbness, judgmental attitude, criticism of others, overwork, perfectionism
Might be disguised as: confidence, holiness
When others express needs, you might feel: irritated
Treatment: Treat self-reliance with humility and a sober view of yourself. (And empty your emotional cup.)
View of self: Denouncing my neediness. “I'm ashamed to say that I have needs. And they probably shouldn't/won't get met.”
Romans 8:1: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19: "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
View of God: God/the Church/the Gospel is . . . ineffectual for my needs.
Might manifest as: self-destructive behaviors like anorexia, self-injury, and promiscuity; depression; self-hatred; false guilt; negative self-talk
Might be disguised as: humility, others focus When others express needs, you might feel: overburdened
Treatment: Treat self-condemnation with gratitude and receptivity to blessings. (And empty your emotional cup.)
View of self: Exalting my neediness. “I have needs, and I will take from you to get them met.”
Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.”
James 4:12: "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. . . . You do not have, because you do not ask God."
View of God: God/the Church/the Gospel is . . . insufficient for my needs. Might manifest as: controlling or manipulative behaviors; abusive language or actions; excessive talking, interrupting, or inappropriate attention seeking; unreasonable demands; jealousy; strife Might be disguised as: righteous anger or zeal, suffering for Christ When others express needs, you might feel: threatened (or jealous, if their needs get met)
Treatment: Treat selfish taking with faith in God's promises. Learn to receive as God provides rather than taking. (And empty your emotional cup.)
Chuck and Betsy Stokes, 2016. Based on Intimacy Theory by Dr. David and Teresa Ferguson, and Dr. Bruce Walker