The struggle between what we want and what we need

For the past week, I have been cleaning out and clearing out my house. The garage, the pantry, the cabinets, and I can’t even begin to tell you about my closet! How is it possible that we have collected so much unnecessary stuff? As I sit here writing this post, I am dreading the thought of the next room that needs to be tackled. So, what lesson Am I learning? Excess is enslaving!

Think about all the areas where this statement is true: possessions, weight, debt, just to name a few. As Americans, so many of us find ourselves trapped in the cycle of consuming. As we get more, we want more. All the while, our stuff just keeps piling up, creating monuments to our insatiable hunger. Now, please don’t stop reading. I’m not bashing the ownership of material possessions, after all, I am a product of the YUPPY, 1980s culture, and Madonna’s, Material Girl, still echoes in my head. However, there is a balance between what we want and what we need.

Titus 2: 11-14 states, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

Paul explains to Titus that living a life of self-control is part of the Gospel message. Our choice to live out our new birth, as followers of Christ, shows the world that we have the power to overcome our fleshly desires for excess. When you and I create boundaries of moderation and consciously choose to live within them, we demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit within us.

Today, let’s examine our motivation for consuming. Is it what we want or what we need? Through your choice to consume or not to consume, are you showing those around you a life of satisfaction that is found in Christ, or are you mirroring the message of the culture that says you can never have enough?

One thought on “The struggle between what we want and what we need

  1. A sobering word for sure! One of my favorite quotes that I tell my kids all the time is is “Want what you have, because you can’t have everything you want.”


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