What I Need

It can be difficult to separate my wants and my needs. I do live in a culture which works vociferously against said differentiation. But even if I didn't, my own heart and mind would clamor enough to make this distinction difficult. It is, after all, my own sinful tendencies which make the cultural voices so powerful, not the other way around. 

Do I need the newest? The best? To be first? No, of course not. But try telling that to my heart. Try telling that to the raw desire which wells up when I consider making purchases and decisions. 

Of course, this problem does not arise only in the midst of my consumerism. It also arises in the midst of my spiritual life. Throughout this summer the interns at our church have been leading our prayer meeting group through the fruit of the Spirit. The temptation for me is to look at each one and say "I need to do that more..." I need to be more loving, more patient, and so on. It is almost true. 

However, I need to constantly remind myself that these are not the fruit of my hard work, the fruit of my will and decisions, or the fruit of my goodly efforts. They are the fruit of the Spirit. They are not a list of the things all good Christians need to bring to the table, but the list of what will happen within us when we seek and strive for what we truly need: fellowship with God. They are a result; not a result of chasing these things themselves, but of chasing God. 

In a way it is ridiculous of me to forget this. After all, the image is of fruit, and trees do not grow fruit by trying to. They grow fruit by having what they actually need: good soil, water, sunlight, etc. The same is true for me. 

In the midst of the babel of my life I must focus on the only thing I truly need: God Himself.

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