I've been contemplating wants versus needs lately. Which of my desires are truly needs and which are just things I want? It's an important question to consider because Philippians 4:19 tells us "God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." If something is truly a need, God promises to provide it.
I am bothered by the idea that needs are subjective. What I consider a need may not be considered so by someone else. I feel it a need to send my kids to college, yet the women I met in Uganda last summer would find that a luxury. They only needed to keep their kids fed. Can I count on God to provide funding for college? Business owners in America are told they need to have a website and internet presence to make it, but can the same be true of businessmen in Haiti? We Americans tell ourselves we have to "look the part" and maintain a certain image to succeed in our world, necessitating things from manicures to expensive clothing to state of the art facilities. There is some truth to it. I follow the reasoning myself. I buy new outfits for speaking gigs to look my best so I will be taken seriously. I color my hair so as not to be dismissed as old and out of date.
I want to believe that my American ideas are truly needs (and therefore things I can count on God to provide for me), but one thing eats at me.
God isn't American. Does He account for culture in determining needs? Does He view needs the same for all people? Does He consider where I live in His assessment of my needs?
I ask the question because I want some comfort when I have anxiety over money. I want to trust God will meet my needs, but don't know what qualifies as a need. Because God isn't American, does He view needs the same way I would?
I have no answers, friends, but would love to get your thoughts. Let's start a dialogue, people. What do you think?
Photo Credit: Denise Krebs