Injury to Need
Being in need is not the problem, having what you want together with what you need is.
It is easier to miss what we need when it is presented together with what we want.
We are so familiar with what we want that meeting our needs sometimes feel like a disappointment when our needs are met in lieu of what we want.
Let’s put this in the perspective of Daniel and the three Hebrews. That’s a story from our Sunday school that we are so familiar with that maybe we missed some few lessons.
Here are the facts:
- Everyone needs nutrition
- Every mental activity requires nutritional energy.
- Everyone wants good and healthy nutrition but not everyone likes to eat the foods that supplies such every time.
- It is not all we like to eat that holds the needed nutrition for us
- Excessive feeding is bad.
- Necessity is the father of invention and wantonness its murder.
The BIG Question
Was it the vegetarian diet alone that made Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael ten times better?
My answer? I am not sure. My opinion is that they got only what they needed while their colleagues got all they wanted. This is not the only explanation for their excellent performance however, I think we can take it for granted.
The Injury to Need
Anyone who supplies people all they want is injuring their needs being met.
Injury to need is injury to the needy. This particular injury hardly happens to the impoverished but the affluent. The phrase suffering amidst plenty would have been apt for people whose needs have been injured except that they think they are enjoying.
While Daniel and co got only what they needed, their colleagues who got all they wanted got alongside their needed nutrition, poisons.
The Injurious Agents
- Variety. Variety they say is the spice of life and I quite agree, but an unnatural desire for variety that makes a man, like Solomon say “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure” will bring them to a place of perpetual dissatisfaction. Needs can be met in variety but without restraint it becomes a poison of need. When needs are met there should be satisfaction but in injured need brought about by unnatural variety, there’s a sense of dissatisfaction.
- Excess. This hinges on intoxication. Even good things taken in excess become injurious, this is common knowledge I think, but who would think that having surplus could injure need? Well it does. When we have excess of things we begin to have a skewed understanding of need, we begin to perceive as necessary things that are in reality unnecessary. It is these perceived necessities that injure us and not our real need. One beautiful thing about need is that met or unmet they rarely cause injury.
- Process. Even good foods get destroyed by processes. I don’t really believe the royal food is bad in itself but by rather unnatural processes a good food was destroyed. I assume that the processes in the Babylonian palace will be royal and exclusive but it nonetheless destroys the food. Have it in mind that when we say a food is destroyed we mean it is rendered less nutritious than it is naturally. In this era of packaging, we fall for good looking and tasty foodless foods instead of the healthy and natural foods.
At the end of the day there are observable differences between those who ate Royal and those who ate Natural. The result is actually unnatural because those who ate royal ended with bland and natural features while those who ate natural ended supernatural because they were ten times better.
What made the 4 Hebrews to be 10X better is not only the food they ate but also the food they didn’t eat. It wasn’t that the other guys who ate the royal food didn’t improve but they couldn’t reach their optimum because they had all they wanted. Having all you want sounds nice but be careful, it is injurious to being ten times better.