money by velo city via Flickr


1. a requirement, necessary duty, or obligation: There is no need for you to go there.
2. a lack of something wanted or deemed necessary: to fulfill the needs of the assignment.
3. urgent want, as of something requisite: He has no need of your charity.
4. necessity arising from the circumstances of a situation or case: There is no need to worry.
5. a situation or time of difficulty; exigency: to help a friend in need; to be a friend in need.
6. a condition marked by the lack of something requisite: the need for leadership.

It’s a common word, used in a lot of ways.  But it’s a dangerous word as well, because whatever we view as a need steers our emotions, our minds, our actions, our very lives.

We are all barraged by supposed “needs” as we go about our lives-  needs for relationship (I need a spouse, I need a friend, I need a lover, I need a child, I need a divorce, I need someone not to die) needs for significance (I need to be appreciated, endorsed, promoted) and needs for material things (I need a new house, car, raise, extra brownie today).  

What do we really think we need, what could we not do without?  In other words, what truly is the treaure that directs our hearts(Matthew 6:21)? In Christ’s interaction with the rich young ruler, Christ knew what the man’s treasure was, what he thought he could not part with.  Instead of his need of riches, Christ offered him something better:

Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:21-22)

Notice that Jesus did not ask him to say “I have no need, I have no treasure.” No, Jesus invited him to find his true treasure, for him to discover the only thing he really needed, by following Christ.  Isn’t it sadly ironic, that the thing that this man thought he really needed ended up making him sorrowful?  And yet that will be the end of treasuring anything but Christ.

So, what is it with you?  What do you feel you could not do without?  Are you willing to free your heart to treasure and need and love Christ?  It is only by giving up what we think we “need” that we can fulfill the greatest commandment, to love God with all our heart and soul and mind(Matthew 22:37).  May we be able to say with Paul:

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11)

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