As human beings we have basic needs. Some are physical like food, oxygen, water, sleep. We also have needs for our inner being or our soul. This includes the realm of our emotions. This is what fills our cup and keeps us going. There are four basic soul needs that all of us crave. We are all created with these needs and we all search for ways to meet these needs everyday. Most of the time we look in the wrong places to meet these needs. So here they are:
- Acceptance – Knowing you are loved and needed by others.
- Identity – Knowing you are individually significant and special.
- Security – Knowing you are well protected and provided for.
- Purpose – Knowing you have a reason for living.
These basic needs are the driving force behind what motivates us in life. Just like we crave food and develop an appetite, we crave emotionally to have these needs met on a regular basis. If we go too long with these basic needs unmet, we become depressed, anxious, fearful, angry, lonely, and numb. These are needs, so we must have them met or we cannot survive. The problem is that the way we seek to meet these needs is primarily through other people or things. When we do that three things usually result:
- We will be disappointed with the results, no matter how well things go.
- We will lack the inner resources we need to love others the way we should and confront life successfully.
- We almost always will be hurt or offended eventually by the one we trust.
When we trust in people and things our inner security is dependent on someone or something we cannot predict or control and that is limited. Often our ability to give is dependent on what we get from from others. If I am not getting what I want, then I don’t give what I know I should. This leads to a life of disappointment and frustration. When our expectations are that others meet these needs it creates a negative atmosphere of tension in our relationships. It can even push the people around us away and create a gap in our relationships. We are constantly disappointed with the people around us, because they can never live up to our expectations of meeting these four basic needs.
The answer is to put our trust in God to meet these basic needs. When we trust in God our inner strength and security are dependent on God who is faithful and has unlimited resources. Our ability to give to others flows from God living in us. When others are not giving to us, we can still love generously and unconditionally which strengthens all our relationships over time. Our lives are filled with an atmosphere of blessing, satisfaction and optimism because our perspective has changed from other people to God. Our expectations of others changes, which takes pressure off of them and us.
So, who is meeting your basic needs? If it is other people, let me encourage you to turn to God and ask Him to meet those needs of acceptance, identity, security and purpose. As your relationship with God grows those basic needs are met in a deeper and more significant way. The results are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control.