What does your spirit want versus truly need? The article below is part of “Topical Tuesdays” and part of my weekly email as a Chaplain to my Army unit. I offer these non-religious reads to them praying that they will want more and might view the hyperlinked Christian Resilience videos that I also send to them.
This week we consider some of the dynamics of capitalism versus Christian spiritual discipline. The former relies on indulgence. The latter listens to the Lord for daily denial of selfishness for trust in Him to tell us what is truly best for us. But it’s not easy. We must be aware of Satan’s schemes and even more familiar with the Lord’s specific proven character, commands, and actual promises – not merely what we wish He will do, but commitments He has already demonstrated and clearly promised to His people.
Before you read on, consider the following discussion questions and related Scripture passages.
- What are some key differences between how we tend to define love and how God defines love? (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Matthew 22:36-40, 1 John 4:7-21, etc.)
- How does the Lord identify our true needs (demand) and true hopes (supply)? (see Deuteronomy 10:12-13, Micah 6:8, 2 Peter 1:3-11, etc.)
- Given the context of specific “spiritual supplies and demands” in Paul’s positive exhortations and encouragements to the church in Ephesus, what are likely some types of schemes to which he alludes in Ephesians 4:14 and 6:11?
- In Luke 10:38-42, to what is Jesus referring when He said “only one thing is necessary?” Elaborate from the larger context and other parallel passages.
- When can it be difficult to discern between our spirit’s true needs and God’s true supply? (consider Deuteronomy 8, 2 Corinthians 1, and Colossians 2)
- How might we outline the book of James in terms of true spiritual demands (needs) and supplies (trials to build our faith in Christ) and false spiritual demands (wants) and supplies (temptations to destroy our faith in Christ)?
Why Verizon finally caved on the Unlimited Data Plan
“Spiritual Supply and Demand”
by Chaplain Jeff Dillard (14 February 2017)
Today is Valentine’s Day, so let’s talk about supply & demand. After all, isn’t that our soul’s initial draw in all types of loves – romantic or otherwise? Demand longing for another soul to sing, “What you want? Baby, I got it!” And of course, if they’re like no other we got to give them respect. I know. I’m mixing allusions and vernaculars. But love is a messy business. Apparently, so are cellphone rivalries.
Over the past year or so, you’ve probably noticed the TV arena of commercial skirmishes from the smaller forces of Sprint and T-Mobile on the historic rule of Verizon. The former two heard the people’s demand for lower prices and unlimited data, they provided the supply, and the time-honored strategy has been working. Both have enjoyed consistent customer growth. Yet Verizon’s CFO, Fran Shammo, and their head of wireless operations, David Small, changed little-to-nothing in their battle plan. So recently, new blood filled both positions. “Now it seems the company’s whole competitive strategy is being replaced as well, with the surprise announcement on Sunday that Verizon will finally offer unlimited data plans, too. And after getting as aggressive as rivals giving away free iPhones at the holidays, Verizon brought back the offer this week for new customers who defect to the unlimited plan.” (http://fortune.com/2017/02/13/verizon-unlimited-data-plan-cell-phone/) Verizon have heard the rivals asking America, “What you want?” And now they’re responding, “Baby, I got it, too!”
Supply and demand can simple…until there’s a lot of supply. I miss the days of having only a few options for toothpaste. I could be in and out in a jiffy. Now my eyes glaze over at the rainbow of hygiene items for whitening, anti-tartar, anti-plaque, 2-in-1s, or 3-in-1s, pastes or gels, and more. I’m no longer sure of what I want, much less what I need. Toothpaste and data plans are hard enough. What about my spirit? Identifying my sure supply would require me to know my definite demand. And that begs an even more basic question: what spiritual goals are truly most important to me?
We’re so inundated with ads for tech, health, education, and more, we can easily neglect our souls.
In some of my online videos for Spiritual Resilience Training, I refer to a 30+ year study by Dr. Howard Markman and Dr. Scott Stanley at the University of Denver in which they identified six basic spiritual requisites for healthy relationships: acceptance, care, commitment, control, integrity, and recognition. Each of us has a “demand” for all these but usually wants one or two more than the rest. So, the next question is “where can I go to supply my need?” Like Verizon’s former leaders, however, it seems that we don’t always listen – even to our own souls. If you’re not sure, you’re not alone.
Others’ current demands and history of disappointing supplies confuse us. So let’s keep it simple. Look back at that list of six. When you have free time, which one do you pursue most often? And which of the trusted people in your life is mostly likely to supply your need in ways that honor and help your relationship with them? If you’re not sure, think of them as toothpaste: when they’ve been squeezed, what’s consistently come out of them? Your shopping options are fewer now, right?
That’s good. Data plans and toothpaste come and go, but our spirit is an entirely different concern.
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