We live in a culture that is obsessed by what we “need” and by things we “deserve”. On top of this, we add the additional items which we simply want to have or achieve. At the end of the day, we are consumed by an avalanche of selfish desires that have no positive effect on the world around us and wind up serving only ourselves. This is not the model of Biblical Christianity. It is instead a far cry from the behavior of the early followers of Jesus that we find recorded in Acts 2:44-47. In that passage we see that Christians divided whatever they had and shared with anyone who was in need. There was no thought of “getting ahead in life” or hoarding resources for themselves. They weren’t concerned with personal wealth-building, but rather with building up someone else. Selfishness was not on their radar because the focal point of their lives was Jesus Christ.
Fast-forward two thousand years or so to our modern society. The things we “need” have taken on an entirely different meaning; where once our needs were food and shelter, they have now become extravagance and overabundance. If we don’t have a couple of week’s worth of food in our house, we “need” to go shopping. If we don’t live in a nice neighborhood, we “need” to move. If our televisions cannot display the latest HD quality picture, we “need” a new TV. I submit that the vast majority of our “needs” are more accurately simply a wish list of our “wants”. What we need is the love and grace of Jesus. That is a true need with the added benefit of being a glorious want and desire. We love Him because He first loved us and gave His life for us, so we want to live our life for Him. It’s beautiful the way God has caused us to want most that which we need most. He has put a deep longing within each of us to come to Him. He is all we need.
Another area we get wrong concerns the things we believe we “deserve”. We tell ourselves that we deserve to be happy, deserve to be secure and deserve nice things because we work hard to get them. This too flies in the face of Biblical teaching. What the Bible tells us we deserve is eternal damnation and separation from God in Hell. That is what we deserve. Anything we get that is more than this is simply because of the grace of God and we should fall on our faces and plead for His mercy. It is common to hear people say that they only want what they deserve; they can have it by simply continuing to live their lives for themselves and rejecting Christ. This is a sure-fire method to guarantee yourself to get what you deserve. Live for yourself and be eternally separated from God. Keep the money you earn to yourself and ignore the poor, and you will be stripped of everything you possess. It’s easy to get what you deserve; simply continue to live your life for yourself and leave God out of the equation. I will personally guarantee you, based on the word of God, that you will indeed receive the full measure of everything you deserve.
We need to rethink our wants, needs and our concept of what we believe we deserve. Our “wants” should be those things that will bring us closer to Jesus. Our “needs” should be just enough to survive in this world. What we deserve is clear, so we must repent, accept the grace of God as our covering, and praise Him from saving us from the life we truly merit. Don’t live your life on the terms dictated to you by our Western culture. Live your life in gratitude and service to Jesus, reflecting His love and grace to everyone you meet.