How do I determine need versus want?

I was recently asked to consider how I determine what I need verses what I want. Below is my answer.

The first important step for me has been to recognize honestly that I am unable to. How could I possibly think that my perspective of such a thing could ever be balanced and correct? I have been swimming in the toxic soup of ultra consumerism all of my life and drinking heartily. I cannot see my own indoctrination. How could I? I have long ago lost the ability to see the difference between my wants and my needs.

I say that I believe God can supply my needs but, honestly, I rarely let Him. Maybe I never have.

“Pure and perfect worship in the sight of God is to care for orphans and widows in their trouble and to remain uncorrupted by the world.” James 1:27

I am corrupted. How corrupted I cannot be sure and is hardly the most productive question to ask myself. I can never know.

But recognizing my own inability to make so-called “correct” choices regarding my needs and wants is freeing me and enabling me to inch closer to surrendering that part of my selfish life to God. I am no longer looking for balance that I will never find, but instead trying to get out of the way and allow God to make His choices through me.

“Be Thou my vision, O’ Lord of my heart.”

God sees things entirely differently to how I see them. I cannot look at another person and judge whether my balance between wants and needs is any better or worse than theirs. I cannot know whether I am only allowing myself the needs that God sees as healthy or not.

When I am considering an object that I want ownership of, I cannot decide whether it is a legitimate need or merely a want. But when I am faced with a choice, I can be conscious of who my Lord is, the example He sets and seek His guidance; hopefully allowing God to make His choices through me.

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