Oh, you can’t always get what you want;
but if you try sometimes you just might find:
You get what you need!
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
What a great lyric! From the song You can’t always get what you want off the album Let it Bleed. So often there are things we want, but don’t really need; and things we need we don’t really want.
Want and Need are funny animals. How often does something we want become a need? I see this with my children all the time: “Dad I NEEEEED it!!!!!”
When in reality its a want, a desire.
The differentiation between want/need is also a huge struggle in our churches. Is it the role of the church or pastors to give the congregants what they want, or what they need for the journey? It is a delicate balance in many congregations: To fulfill folks’ desires so they will continue to participate (and give to the coffers), but also give people what they need for life and create a richer spiritual life.
And the life of the church always seems to get crazy when folks are confronted with letting go of the things they want for the things they need.
Jesus never promised the way would be easy. And he made it quite clear that there would be many who will have a very difficult time following his teachings (and he was rather stone cold in Matthew 19:24).
But for those who want to follow Jesus we must first lose ourselves for others in service of Christ; as Jesus freely offered himself for all of us.
In the 2011 Michael Rapaport documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest Q-Tip really summed up the whole notion of want vs need in a community:
Rapaport: So what’s the hardest thing about being in a group?
Q-Tip: The hardest thing about being in a group is constantly considering someone else, even before considering yourself.
Couldn’t say it any better. If we as Christians would only kick it like Q-Tip summed it up.
May those who profess to follow Christ truly lose themselves for the sake of another in the Love of Christ.
Now how about that Stones record…