Your Best Friend And Your Worst Enemy

May 19, 202

     I have been working as a minister for a number of years and in that time, I have been involved in nearly every kind of trouble that humans can get themselves into. One thing that stands out is that rarely does anyone come into my office and say I knew this was a terrible idea, but I went ahead and did it anyway. It happens but it’s rare. More often than not people come in wringing their hands and saying I had no idea this was going to happen. 

     This makes me ask a question, how do we decide what is good and bad right and wrong helpful or unhelpful? To start off we may consider the obvious, we feel a need. If I feel cold I will dress warmer or turn up the heat or change my location. If I feel hungry, I eat. Already though we have stumbled  into a challenge. We understand humans often make poor choices about when to eat what to eat and how much to eat. Give me a pork chop and I will eat it gladly until I am satisfied. Give me some chicken wings and suddenly satisfaction has nothing to do with it, I will eat until I am physically unable to consume any more. I know that eating is helpful when I am hungry, but my good intentions quickly go awry when faced with the wrong stimulus. 

     Such is the case with many human needs, we need to work, we need relationships, we need shelter, the list could go on. What we need to remember is that not all needs are created equal and that some needs should take precedent over others. 

     In fact one need should be above all others that is our need for God. For his mercy and love and truth. Need for his direction and purpose. This need takes to top spot. The great thing is this need also comes with a matrix by which we can measure all other needs. Gods revelation for man speaks to all of our needs with truth and balance. One short article is not nearly long enough to discuss everything the bible says about meeting all of the needs that God knows humans have. Knowing that God knows does become a key element in finding the balance and direction we need.

     Matthew 6:25-33 offers a lot of help largely based on this exact truth that God knows our needs and cares that they are met. A second scripture that offers a great deal of insight is 1 Corinthians 6:12 where Paul explains that many things are fine to do but not all of these things are beneficial. This adds to our trusting God from Matthew 6 the idea that our intellect must rule over our cravings. We have choices about how and when we meet our needs. Some of those choices are better than others. For example Martha could have waited to do the preparations. Notice the text says they had to be made, further there is no indication that Martha did anything sinful. Therefor her actions fall into the category Paul describes above as something that’s fine to do. It just wasn’t the best thing to do. 

     My prayer for all of us is that our needs are met spiritual first and all others in abundance. For this to be the case none of our secondary needs can be allowed to rule us. I pray that as we make choices about how to meet our needs and wants that we will do so placing God first and taking his word as our guide.

~ Kevin Cleary