When Martha requested that the Lord tell her sister, Mary, that she should help in serving, Jesus responded by saying that while Martha was careful and troubled about many things, there was one thing that was needful and Mary had chosen that better part (Luke 10:38-42). There are some things that are important in life, but there are other things that are necessary–needful. Just to mention a few.
Some think that being free to do whatever they feel like is important. I believe in freedom (and incidentally think that too many freedoms are being taken from us these days) because God created us that way. We are free to choose to obey Him or reject Him. Of course, there are consequences to our choices. What we really need, however, is freedom from sin. How does that come about? Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the Truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). It is a choice we make (Rom. 8:16-18).
Some think that great knowledge is what is needed. Man so often thinks he has the answers to all his problems. However, the way of man is not in himself (Jer. 10:23). Men devise so many schemes whereby they think they can outsmart God, but it is futile (Rom. 1:21ff). What we really need is spiritual wisdom (Col. 1:9). Science falsely so-called does not offer anything but empty hope (I Tim. 6:20). Wisdom that is from above (James 313-18) recognizes the importance of Jesus’ words (Matt. 7:24-27).
Also, so many look for a higher standard of living. They want more money, a better car, a bigger house, more prestige and every other material item which they can grasp. But instead of a higher standard of living, we need a higher standard of conduct. Christ left us an example, that we should follow in His steps (I Pet. 2:21-24). We should walk worthy of the Lord (Col. 1:10) and do unto others as we would have them do unto us (Matt. 7:12). Our conversation should be as it becometh the gospel (Phil. 1:27) and not like the world (II Cor. 6:11-18).
These and so many other lessons can be learned about what is important and what is necessary or needful.
Eric L. Padgett