Is trying to satisfy your needs a sign of selfishness?

Selfishness is rightly considered the cause of human sinfulness. We really need to deny ourselves, as the Bible says, and serve God and people.

As a legacy from Adam and Eve, we inherited a tendency to put ourselves in the central place instead of God. Of course, this is a serious problem if we deny God as our Creator, and we, His creation, occupy the throne of God, worshiping ourselves as an idol.

Then we can say that in trying to satisfy our needs, we are acting selfishly?

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:37-40).

Jesus Christ left us two main commandments.

These words involuntarily lead us to the formula: God comes first, people come second, and I come last. Thus, we conclude that the life of a godly Christian should be one of denying or suppressing one’s needs in order to invest one’s best in others.

By thinking this way, we ignore our God-given ability to take charge of our lives when we are responsible for meeting our needs.

Scripture teaches us to respect our needs—they help us grow spiritually.

Neglecting one’s own needs leads a person to spiritual and emotional problems. And, on the contrary, having satisfied his needs, it is easier and more joyful for a person to help others in their difficulties.

Why should we satisfy needs?

We all need God and each other. God Himself created us to be dependent on Him and others. A man is not a lonely island. It is known that people who are isolated physically or emotionally for a long time deteriorate.

From the earthly life of Jesus we understand that He needed the Father and often spent time with Him. And at the same time, Jesus wanted to share His pain with people: during the time of His ordeal in the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked the disciples to help Him in his death throes.

The Bible contains many examples of satisfying human needs: God told Adam that “it is not good for man to be alone,” and created Eve for him. And Ecclesiastes argued that two are still better than one, citing indisputable arguments.

Needs and spiritual growth

Our needs bring us closer to God and people. Without recognizing them, we stop in our spiritual maturation. As God’s creation, aware of our dependence on God, we need to humbly approach Him asking for what we need. Moreover, He Himself welcomes it when we ask: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you” (John 16:23).

The need for something forces us to seek help: when a person needs food, he looks for food, when he needs water, he drinks. The same thing happens with spiritual and emotional needs.

Needs and Humility

A humble person understands and admits his inadequacy in resolving certain issues and is sure to turn to others for help. The Bible tells us that “God gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34).

Needs and the Church

The Gospel attracted us with the prospect of meeting our needs, because most often we were not all right before turning to God.

But when we come to church, we often pretend that everything is fine with us. Our problem is precisely that we “have no problems,” “everything is ok.” And this is pharisaism.

The biblical position of the church is to be able to admit one’s weaknesses, speak openly about one’s struggle with sin, and confess our sins.

Churches should become a safe place where people can confess their incompleteness and dependence, and ask for help.

Unmet needs and problems

Returning to the idea that God created us to need Him and others, it becomes clear that if we refuse to meet our needs in the rightful way that God has given us, we will get serious problems. Doesn’t a car have problems if its oil is not changed?

How long can you survive on willpower, guilt and adrenaline, without emotional nourishment with the help of God and people?

But by learning to recognize your needs and ask for help, you can free yourself from depression and other mental disorders.

Satisfied needs and the ability to help others

Satiety. This is exactly how a person feels when his needs are met, and in this state he will happily give away his excess to others.

Those people who are most able to give comfort to others are those who have themselves been consoled and are able to show understanding, compassion and more love to those who need it:

“…comforting us in all our affliction, so that we too can comfort those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which God comforts us!” (2 Cor. 1:4).

Remember that John became the apostle of love: he conveyed to others what he himself received from God – His love.

Caring for and loving others is our natural desire, but we should not forget that it is also important for us to turn to God and others asking for help in order to fulfill our needs.

About the results of a survey on the topic of meeting your needs

In the process of writing this article, an anonymous survey was conducted among Christians on the topic: is it selfish to satisfy one’s needs?

A small number of female respondents agreed unanimously that meeting their own needs does not seem selfish to them, and caring for others should not exclude caring for oneself.

All respondents, in the event of emotional and other problems, turn to their neighbors for help and pray to God.

Also, all survey participants expressed one hundred percent confidence that by satisfying their needs, it is much easier to help others.

Press center of the CITA mission based on materials from the book by D. Townsend “12 Christian beliefs that can drive you crazy.”


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