A word that permeates our conversations, whether you are 10 years old or 60, is the word- need. As I am engaged in conversations with friends, my children, other family members and people I work with, I am struck by the number of times a "need" is involved.
I looked up the definition of need, and there are many, yet they all seem focus on two concepts- lack and requirement. For the most part, when using the word need in a sentence structure indicates that the one speaking is lacking something in their life. We, as adults, can spend a lot of time living from the lack perspective. Especially if, and when, we get caught up in the world and take our eyes off the goal. When we forget to count our blessings and give thanks for all the abundance the Lord has given us, that word "need" begins to creep into our heads, hearts and words.
A close friend of mine and I frequently discuss the concept of conscious vs. unconscious parenting. When parenting in the un-mode, it is easy to use the word need with our children. "I need you to clean up your room", "I need 15 minutes of quiet time", etc. How many times have we all used statements like that? A lot! Need is almost the default verb or noun for most of the directives we give our children.
So why all the time focused on "need" today? I think it is important for us to understand the difference between needs, wants and desires. Some might say it's semantics, but I disagree. The difference emotionally and psychologically between needs, wants and desires is huge. The three words cannot be successfully interchanged, as so many do, and produce healthy, emotionally and spiritually-engaged minds.
Let's just understand that their is a hierarchy with these three words and the higher the chain you climb, the more inspired your thoughts and actions are. Functioning at a needs level in life indicates that you are seeing your life as lacking, void, less than what it is. Needs indicate desperation, lack of inspiration. Needs are the basics of existence and if they aren't there, the survival is challenging. The need level of living is about survival.
Spiritually, the Scriptures outline the needs of a Christian in many ways. The basic necessities to survive as a Christian in this world are not many, yet profound. One of my favorite verses is in second Peter:
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
We need to know Jesus, and, by doing so, we open the abundance of the entire universe that God has created. We don't need to be perfect. We don't need to be blameless. We don't need to have great wealth or power. We don't need to be socially connected. By knowing Jesus, we have access to all that is necessary to live a healthful, prosperous and abundant life.
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world caused by evil desires. 2Peter 1:4