My Grace-Full Life

11.29.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Want vs. Need

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• For the last week, a video from 1983 has resurfaced, circulating on Facebook newsfeeds. The Black Friday Mayhem caused by Cabbage Patch Dolls. Oh how well I remember that… I was nine-years-old and like every other kid, I wanted one of those dolls. And I remember seeing the news footage of Cabbage Patch riots on TV. The whole thing got pretty scary.

I never did get a Cabbage Patch Doll, but that Christmas, my mother gave me an Adoption Doll made by a lady she worked with. I still have it—her name is Debbie. She was a very loved doll throughout my childhood. I may need to go give her a hug when I finish writing…it’s been a while.

I can’t help but wonder how many of the kids who got the 1983 Cabbage Patch Dolls still have them. My guess is—very few. And if they’ve held onto them hoping for the dolls’ value to appreciate over the years, sad to tell them, most of the dolls’ value hasn’t changed from the original price tag (ironically, I learned that from an online article from “Garden and Gun.”)

But the recirculating of that video, coupled with the memories of two Christmas seasons working retail when I was 18/19, has reminded me of my lifelong aversion to Black Friday shopping. You couldn’t pry me out of my house today with a crowbar.

I’m not criticizing anyone for going Black Friday shopping. As long as you’re not rioting for “stuff,” I won’t judge. At least, I won’t judge much. I still think you’re crazy to purposefully be out in the middle of all those crowds. 

When it comes to shopping—there’s a big difference between “want” and “need.” My husband and I faced this dilemma even yesterday. My mom needed a new TV recently and in talking to her about its features, we had about a ten-minute window of online shopping for a comparable one to buy for ourselves. But we don’t need a new TV. And we hardly ever turn on the one we have. So in the case of “want” vs “need,” we chose “neither.”

That’s the major flaw in our society—Christmas shopping or not… Black Friday shopping or not… We see this stuff and think we need it. We confuse “want” and “need.” And seriously, I’m not finger-pointing. I do it too. Wayne and I won yesterday’s battle, but we lose them often as well. 

In Luke 11:3, Jesus said, “Give us each day our daily bread” (ESV). This is, of course, part of The Lord’s Prayer. We are offered provision, but just as the Lord provided daily manna to the Israelites in the desert (Exodus 16:4), so does he do that for us. In other words, we don’t need everything all at once. And God doesn’t give it to us all at once. That wouldn’t be healthy. Moreover, God gives us what we need, not always what we want.

We need to learn the difference, embrace the difference, and be content with His provision for our needs. Getting our wants is fun every now and then, but let’s recognize them as such.

Today, as you pray, thank God for His provision and for giving us exactly what we need each day. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be content in that provision and to understand the difference between wants and needs.

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