The Expository Files.

"I Just Need Support!" 

Mantras of the 90's Series(#2)


Popular psychology, self-improvement seminars and the recovery movement have popularized all sorts of statements that seem to project a life of their own. Constant use and repetition may make some of these mantras sound credible; like this one ...

"I Just Need Support!"

Let it be granted, we do need support. We need the support of companionship. We need the support of acceptance and friendship. And sometimes when we are discouraged or frustrated, we just need for someone to comfort us. Beyond the social or human support, we need the support of God! We need the support of knowing we've been forgiven of our sin based on Christ's blood, and we need the support of God's Word to guide and direct us in life. Without any doubt, we need support.

But the modern mantra doesn't take these forms of support into account. Often, when someone says, "I just need support," they are wanting people to support them in virtually any undertaking. They want to follow some path of self-indulgence that is dangerous or destructive, and they do not want to hear any discouragements, warnings or admonitions. All they want us for their friends to "support" them in their activities, regardless of what those activities are or where they lead.

Proverbs 28:17 is an example of this. "A man tormented by the guilt of murder will be a fugitive till death; let no-one support him." Here is a case where someone may want support and demand it. But we are forbidden to support the guilty murderer! If I'm guilty of sin, no one should support me in that. Whether the sin is murder, sexual immorality, theft or covetousness, the sinners' cries for support in his sin shouldn't be answered.

It should also be noted, we can do what's right and good even when we are not supported by friends or our peers! Personal responsibility in life can be discharged on a daily basis, even if those around you offer no encouragement. It may be more difficult. It would be more pleasant to have the support of your companions, the community and the world! But you can still fulfill your duties in life. And, you can discharge every duty and obey every command before God, even when those around you discourage you!

One of the saddest statements in the New Testament is found in 2 Timothy 4:16. Paul wrote Timothy: "At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them," (2 Tim. 4:16, NKJV). Paul had no support from those around him. But notice the next verse: "...the Lord stood with me and strengthened me...," (2 Tim. 4:17). Yes, we can do what's right and good even when we are not supported by friends and peers. We can always have the Lord's support and strength, as long as we walk in His ways and honor His Son.

We need God. We need forgiveness through Christ so we can enjoy fellowship with God. Through our obedient response to the gospel, these good things are ours. We need the milk and meat of His Word (Heb. 5:12); we need to keep His commandments, and this we can do -- even without any human support. "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).

"The therapeutic view of evil as sickness, not sin, is strong in codependency theory; it's not a fire and brimstone theology. 'Shaming' children, calling them bad, is considered a form of abuse. Both guilt and shame 'are not useful as a way of life,' Melody Beattie writes earnestly in Codependent No More. 'Guilt makes everything harder . . . We need to forgive ourselves.' Someone should remind Beattie that there's a name for people who lack guilt and shame: sociopaths. We ought to be grateful if guilt makes things like murder and moral corruption 'harder.'" {p.#18, I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional, by Wendy Kaminer.}

 By Warren E. Berkley 
From Expository Files 4.2; February 1997