Wanting and Needing
By Dr. Dan Wuori
Today I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about something that’s often hard to do (even for adults…and maybe especially for adults!): telling the difference between things we want and things we need.
What does it mean to need something? (Solicit children’s responses.)
Needs are things we have to have – and we need different things for different things. But our real needs – the things we need to live and stay healthy and safe – are pretty few. We need food and water. We need a place to live, clothes to wear…maybe a few other things, but not so many.
Think about what would happen if we went home and got rid of everything we didn’t absolutely need. There probably wouldn’t be much left, would there?! I know we like toys – but do we need toys? What about books or video games? Gosh, we might not even really need most of our furniture! Those are things we want.
Wanting things is okay. Everyone has things they want – and some of those things make our lives much nicer. We might not actually need toys – or even a bed to sleep in – but they sure are nice to have!
In today’s Gospel, Jesus helps us to think about the difference between wanting and needing. He warns us that it’s possible to spend so much time worrying about all the things we want that we can lose track of the important work that God wants us to do – like taking care of the needs of others.
Jesus also makes us a promise: He tells us that God will help to take care of the things that we really need.
Doesn’t that make you feel good to know?
Sometimes we spend too much time thinking about the things we want. Help us to remember the importance of caring for the needs of others – as we thank you for taking good care of our own.
Copyright 2008, Dan Wuori. Used by permission.