Have you ever been standing in a store looking at something you are considering buying, and ask yourself…“do I really NEED this?” If so, you have obviously played the game of Needs vs. Wants. Honestly, that isn’t a fun game to play! In fact, it’s kind of mean! You can always justify something you want just by thinking through what this purchase will do for you. If you’re looking at a big bag of greasy potato chips, you can tell yourself that you “need” this snack because you’re hungry. Or if you’re looking at an Apple watch, you can convince yourself that you “need” it because of all the fancy things it does for you to make your life infinitely better! Or maybe you’re standing on a car lot, and the salesperson is showing you a really nice car with lots of features, and really all you “need” is something dependable and not nearly as expensive.
Let’s be honest, there really are just a few basic things that we “need” and most of what we do or achieve or buy or acquire falls more into the “wants” category. Or even if we are buying something or going after something we need, we may get the nicer, more expensive one, just because we want it more. Or we feel our needs aren’t being met in one area so we go looking somewhere else, when that may not be a real need.
One of the most amazing aspects of knowing God personally is that through a saving relationship with Jesus, we honestly learn best how to tell the difference between a need and a want, AND God enables to know how to make the best decision. I am constantly amazed that the One, True and Living God of the universe cares that much about my insignificant life that He helps me make basic decisions about my life.
For example, when I need to make decisions about food and exercise, there are times I “want” to eat junk and not go to the gym…but I’m reminded that the Bible tells me in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that my body is now a temple of the Holy Spirit. So since God lives within me, I “need” to make sure that I treat my body with respect and take care of it so that I can be healthy and able to serve Him.
When I consider how I spend my time, there are times I want to be lazy, or selfish, or focus on entertainment or things to waste the day away, like surfing around on Facebook or playing silly games. God reminds me to make the most of my time by spending time with Him in prayer and reading His Word, spending time with my family, spiritually significant time with others, and using my time in a way that glorifies Him. I may “want” to be lazy and do nothing, but what I “need” is to value every second of every day, and use them all wisely.
- How much time do you spend with God, just you and Him, every day? You can always prioritize your day so that you spend time with God first, and schedule times throughout the day to pray.
- How much time do you spend with your family? Everyone is busy, so be intentional about spending quality time and quantity time with your family by turning off phones, TV’s and computers, and talking, laughing and enjoying time with each other.
- How much time do you spend in spiritually significant relationships? Other people are important to your life too. Make time for friends and family by intentionally setting up face to face time with them, so you can laugh and encourage each other.
- How often are you making good choices in eating and in exercise? For many people, deciding to exercise is more exhausting than actually exercising! For some, they find it easy to exercise and stay healthy. No matter what you look like or where you live, start today eating healthy foods and knowing exactly what your body truly “needs,” and go for a walk or a run….or just walk around the house or office if that’s all you can do, but be active and treat your body well!