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Wants v. Needs

My 2-year-old niece Sonora is in an “I need” phase:

“I need that candy!”

“I need my Play-doh!”

Often what she really needs is to finish her lunch, take a good nap, or *gasp* perhaps even a little spanking. A good parent realizes the difference between a child’s wants and needs, and will tend to her needs before granting her wants.

Although I’m far past my second birthday, I often have the same struggle as Sonora in differentiating between my needs and my wants. What I’ve wanted for years was to be a freelance writer — free to take on any assignment of my choice and to travel the world! Apparently what I needed was a good, steady job in a healthy, Christian environment that provided both a regular income and the opportunity to learn about teamwork, loyalty, and discipline.

Now that I’m preparing to step into a season where discipline is key,  I’m all the more thankful that God supplies our needs according to His perception of them, not ours. We may think we need a new job but what we really need is to trust Him with our present one. We may think we need a bigger house, a newer car, different children … but ultimately God cares more about our true needs and whether we can be trusted with the things He’s already given us.

In this new year, I challenge you to be constantly aware that God cares about your needs and your wants — in that order. Let us enjoy fully the good gifts He has already given us and live so as to hear Him say: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23)

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