The prosperous man looks at a nice, new fancy car and says to himself, “I NEED that.”
That same prosperous man looks at the struggling, homeless, addicted, and burdened man walking the streets asking for a meal or a place to sleep. And he says to himself, “If he WANTS food, let him work for it. Someone should put him in prison so that we don’t have to be reminded of his ignorance and defiance against our society. That way he might LEARN to be a contributing member of society.”
The religious man looks at two men in need, and says to himself, “I have what these men NEED, I can TEACH them what I KNOW ABOUT.”
The religious man stands over both of them, pointing out their faults, and telling them what they need to change, telling them they need to pray more, read the Bible more, show up to church on Sunday more, and to tithe more. He then prays a long, loud, wordy prayer with them (mentioning Jesus at the end) and leaves them in their need – very content with himself.
The homeless man looks at his hunger and says, “I WANT food and shelter tonight, Lord, but KNOWING YOU is everything that I NEED.”
That same homeless man looks at the struggling, mortgaged, money chasing man walking the from his fancy car to his comfortable home and workplace, not asking for the one thing he truly needs. And he says to himself, “Lord, he wants for nothing in this world, but please have mercy on his ignorance, and free him from the prison that he has built for himself. Oh, Lord, I plead with you that you might REVEAL your life example of a humble servant and a child of God to us all more clearly. But nevertheless, your will be done.”
That same homeless man looks at the respected, titled, and educated religious man walking from one opportunity to speak to the next – and sees his striving, burdened, chase after perfection. And he says to himself, “Lord, this man wants for recognition and honor in both this life and in the next, but please have mercy on his ignorance, and free him from the prison that he has built for himself. Oh, Lord, I plead with you that you might REVEAL your life example of a humble servant and a child of God to us all more clearly. But nevertheless, your will be done.”
How many of us truly know very much about NEED vs WANT in our comfortable lives within this prosperous nation?
How many people who are truly in NEED have we taken the time to speak with, to get to know, to work with them towards getting back on their feet?
Are we satisfied that it is someone else’s job? The government? The charities? The churches? THEY ought to? THEY should do it? THEY are supposed to?
Why do we call WANTS that are ours a NEED, but call the NEEDS of others WANTS?
Why do we step to the back of the line with our excuses, clinching our hands around what is “mine”, looking for THEY to show up when it’s time to share by GIVING to help others in NEED?
Why are we quick to run to the front of the line, making sure WE have our hands open and outstretched wide to be seen when it’s time for RECEIVING what we WANT?
1.pertaining to or characterized by the flesh or the body, its passions and appetites; sensual:
2.not spiritual; merely human; temporal; worldly:
It’s pride. It’s vanity. It’s that oldest enemy of ours, love of self.
And if we try to make up for our shame and guilt with a quantity of service and good works.