What Do We Really Need?

There is something else we can learn from Jesus’ promise in Matthew 6:32-33. We sometimes have difficultly distinguishing our needs from our wants. Jesus, however, defined what our needs are. He said, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

What are those “things” Jesus was referring to that would be added to those who sought first His kingdom and righteousness? They are food, drink and clothing. No one can debate that, because that is what Jesus said just prior to the promise under consideration (see Matt. 6:25-31). Food, drink and clothing, are our only real material needs. Those are, in fact, the only things that Jesus and His traveling band of disciples possessed.

Paul also evidently agreed with Jesus’ definition of our needs, as he wrote to Timothy:

But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. And if we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang (1 Tim. 6:6-10, emphasis added).

Paul believed that food and covering were all that we really needed materially, otherwise he would not have said we should be content with just those things. That leads us to a little different perspective regarding his promise to the Philippians that God would supply all their needs! The way some preachers expound on that verse, you would think it said, “My God shall supply all your greeds!” Moreover, if we should be content with just food and covering, how much more should we be content with what we do actually have, which for most of us is much more than just food and covering?