Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hierarchy of Needs?

What to teach the children...hierarchy of needs (to live) is an important concept the public school will likely fail on, so here's my disclaimer: the following is based on Christian principles. One may suggest Christianity can answer the "higher" levels such as morality, self-esteem and friendship, however the "lower" levels need to be achieved by the people themselves: food, water, security, etc. I completely reject that thinking, and rather posit that God is actively in charge of everything in existence, such that there are no levels, but rather one reality of needs.

So if I were to counsel my child on how to respond to the question of how to categorize "needs," I'd say #1: you need God. However of course #1 begs for elaboration...

"He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son has not life." John 3:36 and I John 5:12

"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10

"If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water." John 4:10

“I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “I have food to eat that you know nothing about. My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. John 4:32-34

Isaiah 32 provides explanation for how God even is responsible for our shelter. People generally trust, or have faith in their homes and perhaps even in their cities. Yet Isaiah says you are better off living in the desert:

Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,
for the fruitful vines
13 and for the land of my people,
a land overgrown with thorns and briers—
yes, mourn for all houses of merriment
and for this city of revelry.
14 The fortress will be abandoned,
the noisy city deserted;
citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever,
the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks,
15 till the Spirit is poured on us from on high,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.
16 The LORD’s justice will dwell in the desert,
his righteousness live in the fertile field.
17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.
19 Though hail flattens the forest
and the city is leveled completely...

God performs miracles, whether we see them or believe in them or not. He makes streams flow in the desert, feeds the multitudes, raises up the lowly, and brings low the mighty. The concepts that you need anything apart from God, and that you can do any good thing apart from God, are illusions..."But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;" II Corinthians 4:7. We are those earthen vessels, and the treasure is Christ. We Christians, and all of mankind, and indeed all of this mortal coil, this temporal realm. Regardless of E=MC squared, God made it all and has sovereignty over it all. How much more transitory are our efforts apart from Christ?

“All people are like grass,
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40

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