Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Complicated Wants – Simplistic Needs

Why do we have to make things so complicated? We look at life for what we can get and for what we want. I want nice clothing, I want a beautiful home, I want an expensive car, I want a Great marriage, I want the perfect family…and the list goes on. Our wants in life really are endless, aren’t they? But I think we want these things because we think that’s what we’re supposed to want out of life. But when we really look at what we need, a very different picture emerges. One that is simpler. We may not even like it at first and it may even take a while getting used to it.

So what’s the difference between need and want? How does wanting something make our lives so much more complicated?

A need is something that have to have; something that you cannot live without; necessary to survival. For example – food, shelter, and good health.

A want is something you would like to have but not necessary. This would be things like designer clothes, flat screen tvs, ipods, huge bank accounts….etc.

We complicate out lives with all our wants. All things that we desire, and if we don’t get them, we take life as a disappointment. All these wants in our lives, we make such a big deal over them that after a while we feel we cannot live without them. They become a “need” as the attachment grows. But what do we actually need in this life?

I want to share an experience with you from this past weekend. My mom, sister and I went up to Oklahoma for my cousin’s graduation and to see my Grandma, who has Alzheimer’s. She recognizes very little anymore…where she is or even the people around her. After the time we spent with her this weekend, I thought a lot about needs. What did my Grandmother really need? What did she truly need in this stage of her life? Shelter, clothing, nourishment, Love and Care were the things that popped into my mind. These are the things that would impact her life the most. 5 things. Simple things. Then, I thought about the things that I think that I need. I think I need. Well, I came up with a list greater than these 5 simple things. And I have been trying to figure out why that is. Why do we make things so complicated with our wants if they’re not what we really need?

Can we use these want in our lives forever? Have you ever noticed that the things we want are the things that constantly change? There is always a newer model, advances in technology, new color and patterns. And this concept will continue, it will not stop, ever! Think about this for a minute…the last want you wished for, what happened when a newer or better option came out?

This can even be applied to people in our lives. “I want a special someone in my life.” And along the way you pick out someone you want to become special to you…the relationship forms and yet soon you find yourself wanting something more from the person or a different person altogether. Sounds pretty complicated to me that you can’t be satisfied with the things that we want out of life.

In Exodus 16 – the Israelite people have escaped from Egypt and started to wonder in the desert running low on food and supplies. God reins down “manna” for the people to collect and eat. They can only gather what they need for eat day…anything that they want to gather for the future will spoil. It's so easy for them, and us, to get carried away. This concept is more prevalent today I think with everything that is made available to us.

See, the Great thing is that God knows what we actually need!

Psalm 116:5-7 The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.”

Matthew 6:8 – “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

He knows what is necessary and what is not. We just need to realize and trust that what He offers and gives us is All we really need in this life.

Matthew 6:31-33 – “So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

His clarity in the matter makes it very simple for us! Seek Him first and He will give you what you need!

Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

When I flipped to one of my devotionals this afternoon, today’s verse May 18 was: Isaiah 58:11 – “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”

Tonight at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) one of the hymns we sung drove this point home even further! The hymn was Great is Thy Faithfulness...here is the chorus
Great is Thy Faithfulness!
Great is Thy Faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

God will satisfy All our Needs and He will help us distinguish between the wants and needs in our life when we look to him! All we have to do is lay those wants at his feet and receive what we need from him alone! It’s Simple, God is truly all we Need in this life!


  1. Very interesting. I think sitting down and listing our needs, then questioning them to find our true needs is a great exercise, which I think you sort of mentioned. When I did this, it made me realize how rich I am...how advantaged my life has been, both physically and spiritually. My post about this idea: http://wbt4.blogspot.com/2010/03/wealthy.html

  2. One more comment. Having the realization that you mentioned in your post about wants and needs and misperceiving needs can really lead to some initial disappointment. That disappointment at a time for me led to this post: http://wbt4.blogspot.com/2010/04/hope-and-loss.html