Sunday, January 18, 2009

Deciding between needs and wants

How we chose to spend our time and resources decidedly influences our spiritual and material well being. An important factor in that choice is our ability to distinguish between needs and wants, between those items of our material culture that improve our life and those that have a negative impact on our spirit. As Evita sings:

And as for fortune and as for fame
I never invited them in
Though it seemed to the world
They were all I desired
They are illusions
They're not the solutions
They promise to be
The answer was here all the time

The choices we make concerning our possessions will affect our spirit. As it says in Moses 3:5; "For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.... And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them"

If we can recognize the spiritual nature of the physical world, we may be able to begin to separate those physical things that we need, food, clothes and shelter from those that we only want and can live without. There is a danger that this consideration alone, in its extreme, can lead to asceticism and withdrawal from society. But, contrary to this form of extreme denial, we can achieve a higher potential by focusing on a balance between the material and spiritual. Much of the fear we experience comes from our concern about our material well being, when our concern should be directed more to the well being of our spirit. We should consider whether acquiring another physical item will in itself add to our spiritual well being or decrease our ability to appreciate what is really important to our lives.

It is basic human nature to trust in the security of objects, however, security never comes from the acquisition of more objects, no matter how many things we have around us it is never enough to make us secure. We always believe that one more (fill in the blank) will make us truly happy. When true happiness comes as a condition of the soul, the result of righteous living in accordance with eternal principles. True happiness is a conscious decision. The security we all seek, to overcome the fear of loss comes only from this willingness to do the will of God even in difficult circumstances.

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