I want ice cream, but what I really need is to go for a run.
I want to win the lottery, but what I need to do is save more than spend.
I want to travel the world but what I need to do is keep my job to pay my bills.
It seems this conversations of NEED vs WANT happen in all phases of my life. Finances, parenting, marriage, relational, possessions, purchases, wish-lists and even in how I approach my life with Christ.
Living in a culture where a mindset of "if you want it get it" seeps through almost every marketing and advertising ploy by virtually every industry (even religion). We live in a way and we buy the lie without even realizing it of "want" matters more than "need".
This is one of those immediate eye-openers whenever I have taken students to a cross-cultural life setting. It his them quickly that their American "wants" are grossly misaligned when they see that 70% of the world barely makes it through a day or a week with basic necessities for survival.
Living in a land of excess dulls us to believe that our basic necessities are never enough.
And when that way of thinking pours itself into how we approach a relationship with God, then we will approach God for "what's in it for me" instead of Who He Is.
I was teaching on Ephesians 2:4-10 this past week for our student services.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2:8 ESV)It is a well known verse, often quoted & memorized. It has a theological truth and depth that is life changing. But 'grace' is shallow unless we understand the NEED we have for God's grace
even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
(Ephesians 2:5 ESV)
Grace is always shallow when we do not understand the depth and depravity of the consequence of sin.
Living in a setting that is WANT driven instead of NEED based as followers of Christ we consistently need to be reminded and reminded and reminded that without grace our basic need of forgiveness is not attainable.
We need grace & we should want what Christ has for us. I want a live that honors Christ and lives that out, which means I NEED to embrace God's grace and God's standard in every facet of my life.