What motivates you? According to American psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow who developed what is famously known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – that a human’s basic needs must be met first before we pursue other higher needs. Usually depicted in a pyramid form, these basic needs are our physiological needs that form the base or foundation of living i.e. food, water, shelter, clothing, sleep, etc.


“Give us this day our daily bread”

One of the reasons I love reading the Word of God is the language, intriguing interpretations, and messages from above. To me, coming to this part in reciting our Lord’s Prayer, is that I need to trust the Lord with my basic needs. “Give us” – it sounds like an imperative but no offence, Lord, I do not mean to be demanding. Our Lord is amazing. Time after time. When I am cornered, He helps me find a way.

1 Timothy 6:7-8

“… for we brought nothing into this world, so that we can take nothing out of it, but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.”


Are we content?

I have always been wary of this phrase growing up – Money is the root of all evil. Now I know it comes from the Bible – 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.”

Sr Mary Grace, in her speech on 7 Life-Changing Tips for Prayer (available on Youtube), reminds us not to be empty inside. Beyond Level 1 basic needs, we need to dig deeper in life for – meaning, value, peace, belonging or we will get restless. Fast. Sr Mary says to go deep, Maslow says we will climb higher in search for love and belonging in his pyramid of needs. Same same, right? I mean, similar right?

So do we desire for more or are we happy to be status quo? Life is of course unpredictable; we will have our ups and downs. Some of us will still have basic needs we struggle with, be it earning enough money, managing our family life, taking care of our health. The challenge is despite all this, we should aspire for more.


What is at the top?

At the top of Maslow’s pyramid is ‘self-actualisation’ needs.  The idea here is that, when basic needs are met, people will then have the desire and ability to grow and realise their full potential.

But we know that God does not wait for us to settle our priorities before He calls us. Time and tide, and God waits for no man. “Come, follow me.”

In our community, I see fellow parishioners busy with work, busy with family, yet busy for the Lord. How do they do it? They are truly, for me, witnesses for God.

When Jesus came, he provided food, healing, recognised the outcasts in society, and helped us repent. He knew our basic needs. However, Jesus also tells us with great certainty what our priorities should be.

Matthew 6:33-34
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things (the necessities in life) will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”


Written by Karen R-Fong