5 red flags that say “I need help.”

helping people, anxiety, depression, suicide, Christians online, sharing Christ, sharing Jesus“So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.”  ~Hebrews 3:19, NLT

It’s easy to get moving so fast online that we click right past a heart may be crying out: “please . . . stop . . . save me!”

Today we want to help you adjust your vision so you can recognize and reach out to the spiritually needy around you in the Land of Shiny Things (L.O.S.T.). Be warned: It’s a task that will take divine sensitivity and—as we call out in @stickyJesus, the book—an awakened heart. It’s often in the routine of daily conversation that the lack of light is thinly veiled.

Not to worry: There are attitudes or behaviors that will help you recognize people in need of the hope and love of Jesus Christ. Here are a few red flags you might notice . . .

1. Lack of peace – When there is an absence of peace in a person’s life, you’ll see comments flowing that are anxious or full of worry. Something is always wrong, urgent, or completely out of control. There is a consistent over reaction to the daily events in life that most people would take in stride.

2. Loneliness – This can show up online in a very direct way. Someone will simply post that they are lonely and then wait to see if someone will respond. Other times you might notice that a person never posts any comments about family, friends, or group activities. The lack of community and companionship are painfully evident. There may also be a preoccupation with work, a bitterness towards life, or a quickness to judge.

3. Restlessness – Typically this attitude appears when comments are edgy or irritable. Online actively might be heaviest in the late evening and into the early morning hours. Expressed impatience or general dissatisfaction dominate comments and conversations.

4. Disillusionment – You can spot this cry for help when general dissatisfaction with work, life, and family are frequently expressed. Nothing ever lives up to expectations. Most experiences fall short and the frustration with the status quo is high. The person’s assessment of most things suggest that nothing in life is really “worth it.”

5. Emptiness – This attitude is apparent when you observe relationship instability, excessive moodiness, paranoia, anger or hints of self-injury. When people are empty, they have an incredible need to fill it with anything. There may be a tendency to engage in extreme or compulsive activities in an attempt to simply feel something.

Post/Tweet this:
People everywhere need Jesus. Never be afraid to speak the hope and love of Christ into a hurting person’s life. #LiveSticky

What else have you seen in your daily stream that lets you know someone needs help?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1370242358 Linda Lou Coscia-Belthius

    What an insightful article..Thank you for posting it!

  • Laura

    This helps me alot!! I got a friend online that I went to High School with who is all about the stars and posts his daily horoscope. He had a troubled childhood and might hold a lot of anger at God for his circumstances. Im just trying to be a friend and listen and engage in conversation. Not sure where God wants me to head in my conversation, but the good thing is that this friend KNOWS how strong my faith is, and that does not bother him and he is not intimidated. I pray before our conversations for God to direct the path. So far so good! :)

  • http://twitter.com/dedraherod dedraherod

    Great points and a wonderful tool! :) Peace.

  • Anonymous

    May we take the time to read each status update, blog post or tweet with a sensitive spirit.

  • http://titus2345.blogspot.com ET @ Titus2:3-5

    Whenever I see someone write the words “I don’t know…” I take pause.
    – I don’t know what to do now.
    – I don’t know why this happened.
    – I don’t know how to fix this.
    – I don’t know why I feel this way.
    I don’t necessarily have the right words to encourage that person, but I do have the Source of answers to all of their “I don’t knows.”

  • Anonymous

    You are right on with that Tyler! Pause, pray, & point others with Truth to the One who holds the healing. Love the thought that no need goes unmet on His watch! And, love that YOU dropped by! :)

  • Anonymous

    That’s awesome Laura… Your prayers are working in ways we can’t even imagine. In the midst of us “listening” to others, God breaks through with nods of encouragement and healing. We can count on Him to fill in the BIG gaps in our conversations and to minister others in very personal ways. To cover yourself in prayer before speaking is the wisest thing you could do! We are cheering you on!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Dedra – bless you as you move and connect with others this week! Your presence here matters — to a heart in need. :)

  • Anonymous

    Amen – there’s always a “post behind the post” and a “tweet behind the tweet.” Holy Spirit, keep us tuned in to the unspoken in only the way You can do!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Linda – Have an awesome day! May God direct you to His people in need and may you rely on Him every step of the way! Without Him, we are sunk! :)

  • Simonmatthewwells

    Working in the job that I do, I visit many peoples properties each week to work. In doing so I see many situations that need invading. I see and hear comments that are so negative, hurtful, extreme and sometimes just worrying. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve thought to myself that “this person(s) needs Christ” or “it seems like only the living Lord can fix this”. Often I’ll mutter a little prayer under my breath for such people or situations, but after Reading your post, I can aknowledge that more is needed to be done. Full lieniency onto God to work wonders and fix their problems.

    Thanks Sticky, mr_s_wells

  • Anonymous

    Simon – thanks for the honest post. I think a lot of us feel the exact same way you do. I see it as the world has cancer (sin) and we carry the cure (Christ). With grace and love like that lifting us each day, things can get exciting instead of discouraging. There’s so much hoplessness, we (together) bring hope . . . I’ll be praying for you in the weeks to come and that God stir you toward the hearts that need to hear of His salvation and hope. Bless you brother!