Needs and Wants

There was a time when the acquiring of material possessions was very important to me. When I first started working I thought I needed all the newest popular and in demand things. My clothes had to be the most current style from the right stores with all the accessories. Of course, styles change quickly and often so there was a constant need for new clothes.

At first, I was happy with hand-me-down thrift store furniture and household items. But as I saw how other people’s homes looked with bright new appliances and chic new furnishings that made me unhappy with what I had. I went into debt to be part of the fashionable set. The debt was a stress as was the keeping up with the Jones’ mentality. Nothing was ever quite right,  I always felt I needed more.

Jesus was with me and said little about my spending habits and the feeling that if I only had______fill in the blank with whatever it was I didn’t have, I would be satisfied and happy. I began to feel depressed and miserable, worried about money all the time. Soon, Jesus stepped in with some advice;

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have.
For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” 
Hebrews 13:5

What a radical thought!  It did make me think long and hard about what and who was important to me. My prayer became, “Help me to want what I need and not to need what I want.” It took some time to let go of the old habits and thought patterns but slowly my woman-591576_640needs and wants came into alignment. I now know the difference. What freedom there is in a simple life of having what you need and that being enough. Truthfully, I sometimes need a reminder that there is no true lasting happiness in the love of money or things;

Those who love money will never have enough.
How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!
Ecclesiastes 5:10

Is this to say I never buy something I want but don’t need? No, sometimes I just want something because I want it. However, if I want something I don’t need I think about it before I make the purchase and there is no going into debt to have it.  I am happy with what I have and my wants have become fewer and less important. I am still quite amazed at this thought that we can be happy without everything we want and the difference it makes in life.

Are you happy with what you have or do you need what you want?

Blessings this day of grace,

6 thoughts on “Needs and Wants

    • Things really have little to do with happiness but somehow with all the media and advertising gets to me. That’s when I have to sit down and have a talk with Jesus and get back on track again. Life is so much less stressful with fewer things.

    • A Patricia proverb—how funny! It is a prayer that I sometimes have to repeat several times a day. Doesn’t happen as often as it used to but the super consumer mentality occasionally pops up and must be dealt with.

  1. When I was young there was a strong desire for having nice things, as nice as everyone else’s or better, because I was raised with that. As I went through marriages I learned to survive with what we had and what we could afford and the world didn’t end without it. Over time I learned the difference between wants and needs, my wants list is now very small and my needs list is pretty minimal too. I am blessed with what I have.

    • You have learned lessons of life and gained wisdom. Part of wisdom is recognizing the blessings we are given by the grace of God. I still struggle some with the “wants vs needs” but not often or for long. It is surprising how little we really need and how those needs are met when we trust in the One from who all blessings flow.

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