Sunday, July 14, 2013

Want? Need? What's the Difference?

Matthew 6:33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
2 Timothy 3:1-4 "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." 

We've all been there...the little kiddo in the store in the midst of a meltdown, the parent nose-to-nose with the little guy or gal asking above the wailing, "What do you want?" And, usually, the child can't answer...and the wailing gets a bit louder.

More than likely the little person can't answer because, frankly, the little person doesn't know what he/she wants. It's all too overwhelming. Too many choices...too much stimulus from all the "stuff" in the big, giant store. It's frustrating and, in little person terms, this equates a meltdown.

We're not much different these days, it seems. So many meltdowns all around us--locally, on a national scale, on a world-wide scale. It seems that we have so much of what we "want" that we've begun to overlook what we "need".

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a tried-and-true theory triangle that shows that we humans, in order to become better at being truly good humans, need certain things. We need shelter, we need food, we need safety. Once we have these, we can move up a ladder of sorts into being able to distinguish wants from needs. In today's society, we are beginning to invert the triangle. We're bent to getting our wants met with immediacy. We want to have the nicest car, the best vacation, the easiest lives, etc. We're pretty good at wants. Herein lays the problem...we have, many times, what we want, but it's coming at the sacrifice of what we need. We want nice things, so we work crazy hours of the day, we max out credit cards, we burn out, and then we wonder why we're still not happy. We've forgotten to first take care of our needs. We need to have good food in our bodies--not junk. We need to have good food for our souls--God's word and time for meditation. We need to have safety in our lives--not compiling so much that we need to barricade ourselves in with our "stuff". We need to be able to sleep at night--not lie awake at night worrying about our over-spending and our over-indulgences. And we need to care for one another--not being self-centered with our time, possessions, and our patience. When we once again meet our true needs, our wants will fall into our lives more neatly and more orderly.

Want? Need? What's the difference? There's a big difference, indeed. We need to make the triangle point the right direction once again. The easiest and quickest way to do this is right at our one another, help one another, and, above all else, love God.

Peace be with you.