Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wants vs. Needs

"And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:19)

Comedian Jeff Allen has a wonderful bit in his DVD "Happy Wife, Happy Life" about his son's desire for new sneakers.  While shopping together at the mall, his son identified some basketball shoes that he said he "needed."  The price tag?  $100!  Jeff replied, "Son, let me teach you the difference between wants and needs.  You want these basketball shoes.  But I'm only going to pay $60 for your new shoes.  So let me tell you what you really need: forty bucks!" 

We humans (at least those of us in the United States) often confuse "wants" with "needs."  There are a lot of things we want and desire.  What we actually NEED, however, is often quite different.  My two trips to the Philippines with Compassion International have helped me gain a greater perspective on what basic human "needs" actually are.  Food, decent shelter, love, faith, hope, education, access to health care, etc.  Much of what we spend a lot of time (and money) on, really isn't that important in the Big Picture.

So I read with new eyes Paul's prayer (promise?) to the church in Philippi: that God would satisfy their "every need."  Not their "every want"... but they're needs.  I believe God wants to do that.  Often God uses us (the Church) to accomplish that.  To help provide others' needs.  May we be faithful stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us... and may we be eager to answer God's call on our lives as he leads!

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