How would you like to be a human vending machine? I’m talking about a situation in which you feel used. It can happen to all of us, and we usually don’t like it. Maybe in your job, you feel like people are constantly asking more and more of you. Parents can really slip into this way of thinking, primarily because our kids actually do need us a lot. We can also feel this way in friendships and in church families, as some people come to us with their needs.
Have you ever thought of someone as “needy”? If you have a person like that in your life, they tend to ask a lot of your time, energy, and maybe money. What can greatly help is when they are aware of how much they ask of you, and they at least thank you. When a person is unaware of their neediness, however, we can become very negative about that person. When we see them, we can walk the other way.
Have you ever seen a person in the store, before they saw you, and you thought to yourself, “Where can I hide so they don’t see me?” because you know that if they see you, the next 30 minutes of your life will be gone as they talk, talk, talk about their lives. Interestingly, they not only seem unaware of how much they are talking, and how much time they are taking, they also do not ask how you are doing. Or if they do ask about you, it’s usually one or two brief questions.
The result? You can feel used. You can feel like a human vending machine. If you’ve ever felt like that, you’re in good company. Jesus seems to have felt that way too. In our continuing study of Jesus’ life as told in the Gospel of John, next week we’re going to study John 6:22-51. In this passage, it is the day after Jesus has just done the amazing miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. Now the people are hungry again. What will Jesus do? Is he a vending machine that will crank out another miraculous feeding? What Jesus attempts to teach the people is of vital importance to us too. Jesus teaches a principle of discipleship that each of us would do well to consider and apply to our lives.
Read the passage ahead of time, and then we’ll discuss it further on the blog next week.