Needs vs. Wants

So, I have been spending a lot of time lately pondering contentment, and I have really been trying to only purchase things that are truly needs, not wants.

My mind goes to my son, who thinks a need is the newest Wii game.  Nevermind that he already owns NBA2K10, he NEEDS to buy NBA2K11.  Nevermind that is loses 3/4 of its value within the year.

Oh, and he NEEDS a new basketball.  Nevermind the 8 basketballs he already owns.

I have been trying to instill in him what a need is versus a want.  Not that he cannot get a new game, but I want him to save up his money and work for it so he can learn the value of something, as well as the value of depreciation! :)  But he really needs to understand what a true need is...and in this household, we think so much is often a need when it is truly a want.

So what is a need?  Water, food, clothing...yep, that is about it.  Well, a need is also something that is necessary for survival or for doing what I am responsible to do.  (If my child needs a ruler for school in order to learn, I consider that a need). What's a want?  Pretty much everything else.

Anyway, back to contentment.  If you are reading this, you (like me) are overly blessed.  To have a computer and the simple blessing of the electricity to make it run is more than a lot of people in our world. Clean water is such a gift.  Not to mention multiple changes of clothes and shoes.  If you are like me, you have boxes of stuff stored away for someday...

We live in such an age of "Buy Now" or your have to try this newest version of the iToaster. ;)  Why can we not be content with what we have?  Why do we always have to chase after the newest and best.  I remember my mother and grandmother stitching up socks with holes in them.  Me?  I just toss them out or give them to Goodwill.  It's not worth my time to fix them, I say.  Shirt got a small stain on it?  Out to Salvation Army it goes.

Our society is one of replacements instead of being content with what we have and fixing things.  Case in point, new cars.  Oh, my transmission is going, I think I will go buy a new car.  Ever said that?

Now if you know me at all, you know that I am definitely not a spender.  Not that I don't enjoy shopping or buying things or especially going out to eat, but I am definitely one who thinks about the consequences of purchasing new things.  Because of that, I tend to be a hermit sometimes.  I don't like to walk around the mall, grocery store or supercenter.  I don't want to even be tempted to purchase something.  (The word "clearance" has a pavlovian effect on me!)

Anyway, so now I am working on contentment.  Being truly grateful for what I have.  Not saying, "But I don't have anything to wear today" when I have a closet full of clothing.  Not wishing to have the newest technology, but rather be grateful for the ability to even utilize what I do have.

I am asking God to help my heart be filled with Him and a love for others so that there is no room left for desiring things rather than desiring Him.  I am looking out for ways to help someone who is less fortunate.

I am also pricing things for a consignment sale.  Hey, I don't need it anyway. :)

What about you?  Do you struggle with being content?  What do you do to overcome that struggle?


Marshan said…
I'm with you, Beck! I sometimes find myself caught up with the newest and greatest too, and i have to remind myself that it's not something that I "need". It's just a want. Thank you for the reminder again. It was well needed!! Love ya!

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