So often we will say “I need…”. But do we really need that item? Need is defined as a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation whereas want is defined as to wish, crave, demand, or desire. So how do we tell if something is a need or a want? And how do we handle decision making when it comes to needs versus wants?
1 Timothy 6:8 tells us “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” Throughout Scripture we see where we are promised food and raiment/clothes…but there are many other items including a house/shelter that we consider “needs” that are not promised by Scripture. I know that will rock many people’s boats. The concept that house is not classified as a necessity by Scripture is quite shocking! But if we think about it, we only need to have food and clothes to survive. We can survive in a tent or a cave if we need to.
So with that mindset as our foundation, we need to make as a top priority providing food and clothing for our family. And that means meeting our needs of food and clothing not having everything in the store or a closetful of clothing. Then after that we can add in our wants starting with our most needed wants. I would encourage you to make a list of top priorities, so that you know where to place the most emphasis. Here’s my list for an example – food, clothes, helping with household expenses (since I live at home), medical needs, savings, gifts, and eating out. Each person’s list will be a bit different, but this will give you an idea to get started.
The next and final piece is to be willing to trust the Father’s provision of our needs and understand that He will not always fulfill all of our wants. Sometimes He wants to grow our trust in Him…sometimes He needs to teach us a lesson…sometimes it is just a “wait”. But in reality, it all boils down to contentment. Am I willing to be content with where I am in life? Am I willing to be content with what I have in life? If I am content, then I am able to experience joy and thereby be a much better and more willing instrument in my Father’s hands. So I will close with this challenge, each time this week you are tempted to “need” or “want” something, ask yourself if it is a need versus want? And choose to be content in all things!