Materialism has a crass slogan, which is currently being used by an electronics store: “I want that.” Ever since I heard it a few months ago, I have been reflecting on what these three words are really saying and why they bother me so much.
“I want that,” reminds me of a young child demanding what he wants when he wants it. “I want” is greedy and does not care about others. If what “I want” belongs to someone else, it leads to envy and discontent.
Where “I need” shows a level of humility and dependence, “I want” is demanding and rude. I am reminded of words from the book of James that show what an unbridled desire for material things can lead to :
“You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”