This is a short expert from my book, Psalm 23 Unwrapped, available from Amazon to give you a flavor of the content- enjoy!
How can I tell if it’s a Need or just Greed?
If we have all that we need, why do we keep gathering those things to ourselves that we think we think are necessary?
I think we can have a distorted view of what our needs really are. These days we are bombarded with advertising that sells us stuff that we are told we need before we knew we needed it! We have grown up with continual advertising negatively affecting our psyche. Marketing is part of our moment-by-moment lives and we are so accustomed to it, that we respond quite unconsciously to advertising. In fact, social science confirms that we very rarely buy something unless we have been sold the idea at least 5 to 7 times.
We usually do not respond to advertisements unless we are inundated with pictures of that beautiful item that we didn’t know we needed. The item pushed on us may be a little bit outside of our budget, but we disregard that. Our heart starts pounding, and we respond somewhat emotionally. We convince ourselves with self-talk like-
‘Well, perhaps I do need this, perhaps this would help me to make my life easier, or maybe this will make me happier. All my friends have this, so perhaps I really do need this.’
Having persuaded ourselves, we take ourselves down to the shops, or we click the buy button on our laptops, and before you know it, we are a little poorer than we were 5mins ago. The day comes when our parcel arrives, or we walk out of the shop, and we look at this beautiful thing wondering what the heck am I going to do with it?!!
We are all familiar with this kind of lifestyle, it is very typical of our modern lives, which often leaves us dissatisfied. We try to fulfill our category of needs through ‘things’, but it doesn’t work. We find ourselves wanting more, striving for more. We get ourselves in debt, so we have difficulty sleeping at night with worry. We assure ourselves that we need more and more to justify our spending. Perhaps we have lost the real sense of the word – need.
Is that the true meaning of Psalm 23:1b I shall not want? I think not. There is a saying that there is a fine line between need and greed and are spelled remarkably similar. We do not really hear about the word greed very much, and most of us don’t like to consider ourselves as being greedy. After all, it is not the thing to be. It is not a desirable trait to have. So, we never really think about greed very much at all. But in actuality, that is what most of us struggle with – greed.
We are a greedy society and encouraged to be so through advertising. Greed is when you are not satisfied with the perfectly good things that you have, and you want more, and more, and more – and more!
Advertisers tell us what we need, and some people will do absolutely anything to get more. The scary thing is that some folks will commit murder or robbery, and all sorts of other horrible things to get what they think that they need, but really, it is under the guise of greed.
So, if I shall not want has nothing to do with greed, what does it really mean then? I invite you to read my book to find out!