I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for the material side of Christmas. It’s always fun getting a few gifts. Especially since I typically spend the rest of the year focusing on paying bills instead of buying the things that I want for fun.
Lately though, I’ve been catching myself trying to justify those things that I want as something I need, and it’s happening more and more.
For instance, one of the more recent Fitbit commercials had caught my eye; it shows a man tracking his heart rate as he works to get in shape so he can run with the cute girl who is always passing by. Now I have spent nearly 28 years on this planet, most of which have included some sort of athletic activity; so I know my body well enough to know how to get it in shape or if I’m overdoing a workout. But dang it, I needed that Fitbit to tell me my exact heart rate and number of steps because that was the only way my fitness goals would be met.
The reality? Just because I’m able to track those things, does not for one second mean it will affect the way I live my life. All it will do is turn more of my humanity into a mathematical equation of success or failure; give me another way to compare myself to others and not measure up.
[Sidenote: I have nothing against Fitbit; I still think they are actually really cool and can provide a lot of great information to those who have them. I’m only saying that realistically, it would not do much for me and my personality.]
I catch myself in this circle of thought frequently–from content, to intrigued, to rationalizing, to justifying, to reevaluating, until finally settling back to being content–which is almost instantly followed by the question, why do I let these weeds take root in my life?
That’s how I’ve started seeing them, as weeds: these wants we think are needs. These unnecessary things that get in the way of the beauty of who we are and if given the chance, will multiply and completely overtake our lives.
So in the season of wish-list making, here are three things that require no justification and are truly needed in our lives, regardless of the time of year:
- Love. We are social beings; we’re simply better when we do life together. Our friends, families, and significant others all contribute to our growth by supporting us or telling us hard truths. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a community to invest in each adult so we can thrive. 1P4:8 || J15:13
- Respect. While this is similar to love in several ways, respect is different because it can be lost so much easier. It requires effort on our parts to earn it in the first place but we also have to maintain a constant character to keep it. Being a person worthy of respect and giving it to others strengthens our relationships, while empowering us to lead greater lives. M7:12 || R12:10 || P2:3
- Gratitude. I really wanted to write ‘happiness’ here, but I had to accept that (obviously) life isn’t always happy. However, we do have the choice to be grateful through every moment and let me tell you, when you’re grateful for the little things, happiness is a byproduct, regardless of the circumstances in your life. P4:11-13 || 2C9:15
When you’re grateful for the little things, happiness is a byproduct, regardless of the circumstances.
How can you alter your perspective to keep your needs before your wants? What kinds of weeds are in your life? How can you keep yourself from being suffocated by the temptation of weeds?