How Do You Know What You Really Need?

Here’s a heavy question: what do you need?  I don’t know anyone who would argue that we have needs, but what exactly are they?  Does every person have different needs?  Are they many or are they few?  We throw around the word “need” so much that coffee, afternoon naps, and sun tans become things we need.  If we’re honest, we all know that these are things we don’t ultimately need, but rather things that we want…  things that would be nice to have.

However, determining what we need and what we don’t need is crucial because if we believe that something is an actual need, then we will give great amounts of time and energy toward getting it.  So, if we’re treating something as a need that really isn’t a need, it would be good to know so that we can divert our efforts toward things that are real needs.  But instead of just of listing out what everyone’s needs are, I think a better approach would be to give you a question to ask yourself to help you determine what you actually need.  Here it is: why do you exist?  What you need corresponds to why you exist because your needs, when provided, are the things that achieve your purpose for existing.  Let me give an example.  If a person believes he exists to be comfortable, then his needs will be a well-paying job, well-behaved kids, and a wife who doesn’t argue with his decisions.

This sounds nice, but there’s another question you should ask to help you further: do you get to determine why you exist?  Are you in charge of your life, so that you have the right to decide your purpose for living?  The reality is we don’t have the right to decide why we exist because God, our creator and sustainer, is in charge of our lives and he has already told us why we exist.  Isaiah 43:6-7 says, “Bring my sons from afar and my daughter from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory.”  God says we exist for his glory.  Since we are all sinner who have fallen short of God’s glory, our first need for fulfilling our purpose for existence is forgiveness.  We first need God’s forgiveness, which means we also need Jesus Christ who died so we could be forgiven.  There…  I’ve started your list of needs as determined by your reason for existing.  Your job will be to complete it and then focus on meeting those needs over meeting your wants and desires so that God will be glorified in you.

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About Brent Osterberg

Ransomed sinner, husband to Keri, father to the kiddos three, associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX, and lover of most things epic. View all posts by Brent Osterberg

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