by Meredith Berger
The topic of “need” came up this week a few times, and has had me thinking about what is truly essential to my life. It started with an anecdote from Church, where the priest told us about a trip where he and his entire group lost their luggage. While hugely inconvenient, it reminded the group what was crucial to the trip, and that anything else was superfluous.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 says, “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”
This began to make me think – what do I need in my daily life? I went through the laundry list of things I purchase throughout the week, and things that I don’t necessarily want to live without. We all, to some extent, value material possessions. That $50 candle? That $12 kale smoothie? Those $150 jeans that definitely don’t look like the ones you already own? (All right, I may be projecting here…) You get the idea. I think we all know personal purchases such as these aren’t necessary, but we like to have things, and they can make our lives better.
In my training for work this week, we discussed the difference between “Need” and “Want” in terms of driving value for customers. When wanting something, we can override our preservation instinct and instead spend time/money/energy on something we impulsively desire, and end up with less money and less time to spend on something that may in fact be more valuable to our fundamental need.
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17
So, consider what is important to you. Break down your needs and wants and make sure you understand that difference. What is core to you? Is it faith? Is it family? Is it a healthy lifestyle? Take a moment to search within and find what you really can’t live without. Don’t feel obligated to cut back on your spending (because it certainly isn’t easy) but sometimes it helps to remember you have what you need, and that everything else is just extra. Especially in cases when you lose your luggage (or wallet) or even when you lose sight of your priorities. Always break it back down to your basic needs and remind yourself that most of what you desire is not essential anyway.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21