This content is part of a series.
We Need What Jesus Offers (3 of 18)
Series: New Testament Sampler
2 Peter 1:3; John 10:10; John 6:25-35
Introduction: What makes people tick? That's a question psychologists and normal folk have wrestled with for years. Men wonder what women want. Parents try to figure out their teenagers. Most teenagers, on the hand, have long since given up understanding their parents.
This is really a serious question. Businesses and advertising companies spend millions studying human nature so they can target their commercials and products to the right customers in the most effective way.
This question matters on the personal level as well. Lots of people live frustrated lives, forever trying to scratch an itch that they can't quite reach. When young they think happiness will come with getting out of high school. After that they hope a good job is the secret. Later, they look to marriage, or children, or a new marriage or a different job or more money as to the keep to their satisfaction. People search for all of these as the answer to something deep down inside that cries out to be filled. What is it that will satisfy that need? What does make people tick?
Tonight I want to show you how the Bible's answer and man's answer are related. The best answer that psychologists offer comes from research and theories of mid 20th Century expert Abraham H. Maslow (1908-1970). Most current ideas about human need and motivation come from a concept Maslow called the hierarchy of need. I am not here to give a psychology lecture tonight. But I find this interesting and important. I also think it opens a window into an important truth in our text.
Maslow began by insisting that most popular thinking before him was all wet. Freud and others said human behavior is controlled by outside forces, by our upbringing or rewards and punishment. They ended up with a dark and pessimistic view of human life. Maslow's theory, on the other hand, insisted that needs motivate humans from within.
Maslow eventually identified seven levels of need that must be satisfied in order to produce a healthy, fully functioning human being. Here is Maslow's list of the seven human needs. First on the list are Physiological Needs. These are the basic body needs such as food, water, and air. Safety Needs come next. People need to feel secure. We need stability in our lives. Belonging Needs follow next. Human beings seek groups or individuals with whom to form partnerships, friendships, and alliances. Humankind is driven to find companionship and love. After belonging come Esteem Needs. Most human beings need to feel not just loved but needed. We need to feel that we can contribute something worthwhile. Maslow insisted people also have Cognitive Needs. We need to understand the world around us. We seek knowledge. We have curious minds. Number six on his list was Aesthetic Needs. Humans are not satisfied without order, symmetry, design ...
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