A critical measure …
Take a mental trip …
… something has happened and you find yourself alone on a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
What do you need?
An honest rendering of the list would come up with very few items. There are not a lot of things we must have to survive. What we tend to think of as “needs” are often things which enhance our comfort or happiness with life. Some are worthwhile, others are nothing more than indulgences.
Now compare this little mental trip to how you live each day. If you’re an American, chances are your life is clogged with a host of things you have in your life specifically for your personal enjoyment or entertainment. There’s nothing wrong with having things that make life comfortable or more enjoyable unless we give them the wrong value by treating them as needs.
We often reduce what we’re willing to do for others — especially for God — to what we have left of ourselves and our resources after taking care of both our needs and our wants. Once we’re done with our wants, there’s not much left to give — we tend to never run short of things we desire for ourselves.
What would your capacity for serving God and others look life if you measured your resources after meeting your needs? It might mean you may not have every electronic gadget known to man, or fewer means of entertainment and comforts, but you would have enough. You would have your needs, and be able to serve more, give more, help more.
How do you measure what you have to offer in service to God and others? Does the measure start after you meet your needs, or after you indulge your desires?