Focusing on what we don’t have can make being thankful for what we have more difficult.
When my daughter was two years old, we went grocery shopping. As we went up and down each aisle, she reached out for a toy or pretty package. “I want that,” she said. After telling her no several times, I finally pointed to one particular item and said, “You may want that, but you don’t need that.” On the next aisle, she reached out for yet another enticing article. “I need that,” she said.
When we ask our heavenly Father to meet our needs, it may seem we’re hearing no more than yes. Of course, it might be because we have trouble understanding the difference between our wants and needs.
Having a roof over our head, enough food to eat, a secure job, money in the bank, and a working car are all good. So is being healthy and having a family and friends who love and care about us. If we can claim these among our blessings, praise God.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking those things are needed. What we need is God’s love and forgiveness, love for others, and growth in our understanding of who God is and what He wants us to do with our life. We need to take our eyes off our wants and remember to thank and praise God for all the good things He has done for us.
Many years have passed since my daughter got her first lesson about the difference between wants and needs, and she still struggles with the concept. So do I.
Stop what you’re doing every day and “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2 NIV).
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
Janet Ruth is an Arizona native who holds both a law degree and a master’s in biblical studies. Janet has written two Christian non-fiction books, has contributed to online and print devotionals, and keeps up a regular blog on her website, www.JaneTruth.com. She also enjoys combining her own photography with favorite Bible verses and posting them to her Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/janetruthbooks.