I am a bit of a Corvette fan. In the pic above I am sitting in the cockpit of a dear friend’s ‘Vette. I’ve never owned one but have admired them for years. (Did you know they were first introduced to the world the same year I was, in 1953? Who cares, right??) The new 2020 models are out and look awesome! I’d love to have one – I want one – but I don’t need it.
There are quite a few things that I think I would enjoy having, and a few that I really want. But that is different than what I need.
Four Universal Needs
There are no doubt many different ways to categorize and articulate our basic needs as human beings. If you search the internet you’ll find a variety of answers with some being repeated in different forms. In my thinking and reading of scripture I would suggest we each have at least these four, common needs.
To be loved, genuinely cared for, valued and appreciated, just the way we are.
To be truly and fully accepted as an equal.
The freedom to be who we are, who we were meant to be, and all we dream we could be.
Significance, purpose. To be assured that our place and participation in the universe matters.
These are the hopes, the needs and deepest desires of each one of us. A few have been fortunate enough to be born into circumstances that allow them to experience one or more to some degree. Others not so much. But all of us naturally lack the full reality of the assurance of these deeply human and universal needs.
Though I have no formal education in such things, it seems to me (what do YOU think?) that much of our internal strife, our lack of peace and contentment, can be traced back to a lack of fulfillment, real or perceived, of these needs.
Did you notice, a ‘real or perceived’ lack of the genuine fulfillment of these needs. Just as there are many different ways to categorize our needs as humans, so there are also a wide variety of ways to categorize the differences found among mankind. (I feel I must at this point mention that most of the ‘differences’ that too often are raised, such as gender, race, nationality, and economic circumstances are in fact insignificant in the big picture.) It is my belief the most fundamental difference between us is that some acknowledge and yield to the God of the Bible, and some do not.
And it is in that fundamental difference we also discover whether the fulfillment of our deepest needs is indeed real or perceived. The Good News of the Gospel promises to believers that God has already abundantly met all our needs. They are fulfilled here in this life by faith, and in the next by sight.
And while I cannot speak for anyone else’s heart, it is my belief that those who have not accepted the Good News will never genuinely experience the complete fulfillment of these basic human needs. Certainly those who choose not to believe can achieve a perceived fulfillment of love, acceptance, significance and freedom. But the satisfaction of those needs will in time evaporate amidst the heat of life’s most difficult challenges, because their fulfillment is built upon the shifting sand of a propped up self-image; there is no solid foundation.
For believers however, the fulfillment of these needs is real. The Creator has invited all humans to be a part of his family. He has loved us and personally paid the cost of our rebellion through the death of his son Jesus. For those who believe and accept, he has declared us to be of equal value to all other human beings. We have freedom from the constant burden of trying to prove to the world and ourselves that we are ok, and from the ever-present fear of death. And the all-wise and kind God has assigned every one of us to an eternally significant role in the Family Business, whose mission is to love our Father, and to love and serve our brothers and sisters and all mankind. And so the fulfillment of these needs for believers is built not upon the shifting sand of our self-image, but upon the promise of the Creator of the universe.
Perhaps you have been able to acquire or achieve some of your dreams. I’m truly happy for you and hope you are enjoying it. I too have been blessed in many ways and have, and still am enjoying many of them. But after all is said and done, I have concluded that all we really need is to be confident and secure in our eternal future, to be truly loved and accepted, and to know we are free and that our lives have mattered.
It is up to each one of us, each individual who has ever or will ever take a breath, to decide what is important and to choose how to fulfill it. We are free to place our trust in ourselves to meet our most important human needs, and for our eternity. Or we can trust the Creator.
The choice is ours alone to make.