Whatcha really need

My beagle-basset stares up at me with longing in her little face. She’s got her eyes on a piece of chocolate I’m about to pop into my mouth. I shake my finger, “That’s what you think you need but it’s not what’s best for you.” She’s not persuaded. And I don’t blame her. Where have I seen that look of longing before? Oh, yes, in the mirror.

We have strong thoughts about what we need.

And others have strong thoughts about what they need from us too.

Confession: that leads to one of my greatest struggles. I love to give people what they think they need. It makes them happy. Which makes me happy. I like to see a human smile even more than I like to see my crazy pup wag her tail {well, it might be close to a tie sometimes}.

When I can’t give people what they’re asking of me I feel terrible. And, even more, I feel selfish. Who am I to say no? Isn’t love all about giving people what they need?

Well, it turns out that’s not quite true.

You’ve probably heard the story about the loaves and fish. Here’s the scoop: Jesus has been teaching and the people are getting hungry. In a miracle, He multiplies the loaves and fish so everyone is full. Yay!

That’s where the Sunday School version stops but it’s not the end of the story. The people show up again and Jesus says to them, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”

In other words, that crowd was looking at Jesus the way my beagle-basset looks at me when she’s hoping for a hand out. But Jesus knows that this time around if He fills their stomachs their hearts will go away empty. So He tells them about how He’s the real bread of life.

To make a long story short, the crowd doesn’t like it, most of those following Jesus leave and to top it all off He mentions that even one of the remaining twelve disciples will betray Him. Huh. Why in the world would He do that instead of just whipping up more ancient times happy meals?

Because love looks past the “need” to the real hunger of the heart.

People will ask you to do a lot of things for them.

You will ask people to do a lot of things for you.

And sometimes the most loving answer is not a yes.

Love means having the courage to say–I will not give you what you want from me; I will give you something even better. Something so deep within your heart that you may not even know it’s what you really need most.

I toss my dog a milkbone. She wags her tail and runs off with glee to drool on the carpet. If only it were always that easy, I think to myself.

But love isn’t about easy. It’s about what’s truly best.

Let’s bravely never settle for giving {and receiving} anything less.

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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