Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Difference Between Wants and Needs

Philippians 4:12

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Rays HaircutWe live in a day and age – probably not unlike many other eras – when there are a number of folks that live hand-to-mouth. These persons live in many communities around us and in our own communities. Living hand-to-mouth means that a person uses every part of their income with no plan for the future. Everything they make they spend. They live hand-to-mouth.

Some people have had many opportunities – yet still live hand-to-mouth. Some have not had many opportunities and find themselves in the same situation. There are a number of people in our society that may not be able to make ends meet. For these our society tends to help (although many we help – IMHO – have made decisions in life to put themselves in this situation of need).

Part of what leaves many folks living hand-to-mouth is a lack of understanding or discipline when it comes to wants verses needs. Most people (and I have no statistics for this at this time but it is an educated opinion from 40+ years of ministry) live beyond their means because they have mixed up their needs and their wants. This happens at all income levels – from the very poor to the very rich. How many times have we read about professional athletes – who make more money in a 4-10 year career than many of us could make in several life-times – only to find themselves living hand-to-mouth in short order? I had an elderly person once tell me they couldn’t live on their social security check. I wanted to tell them that social security was never meant to be the sole income for a person in retirement. A person was supposed to save – to put money aside for retirement. They were not to spend all they made. They may have mixed up their needs and wants. Continue reading

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The World of Needs and Wants

Philippians 4:11

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

profileChristmas is coming.  In a recent sermon I mentioned that many of us have trouble with the concepts of need and want.  We tend to blend the want items with the need items.  In doing so we can often live beyond our means – adding wants to what we conceive to be needs.  For example – spending $40,000 and up on an auto may not be the best allocation of funds for a person that makes the average income.  Yet some of us do it.  We rationalize it in a variety of ways.  Yet a $20,000 to $25,000 vehicle – and there are many reliable vehicles in that price range – could get us from point A to point B quite well and get us 200,000 plus miles to boot.  Just think of what an additional $20,000 to $15,000 – plus interest – could do for your savings in a 5-6 year period.

Using big-ticket items as examples – what about the home we live in?  Does it meet our needs or is it mixed in with our wants?  Mortgage brokers often try to fit us into the house we can afford rather than the house we need.  Think about the money invested in our home and what need we might meet with the excess?  For some of us it might be upwards of $100,000 or more beyond our need. Continue reading

December 6, 2013 Posted by | Advent Thought, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


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