Self-Actualization

Epiphany
January 14, 2017

Scripture Reading: John 1:29-42

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ –John 1:35-39

What are we looking for? Psychologist Abraham Maslow identified what he believed to be basic needs of all people* that have become a standard:

  • Basic needs—food, clothing, shelter
  • Safety
  • Love and Belonging
  • Self-Esteem—feeling that we matter
  • Self-Actualization—Achieving one’s full potential

I like to describe this last one as fully becoming the person God created us to be. Maslow viewed these needs as accumulative. For example, when our basic needs and safety are not met, it becomes much more difficult for us to feel we are loved and belong. The housing first movement for the homeless based on this theory assures stability in meeting basic needs and safety as service providers enable a transition to belonging for those on the street.

If Jesus asked us what are we looking for, how would we answer that question? My guess is that most reading this would answer wanting to make a difference or achieving our full potential and that is a good thing. Christ’s question though is for everyone. Our call to do justice is to work toward all becoming self-actualized in Christ.

Prayer: Lord, make our work toward justice for all be a path toward our realizing our full potential and everyone else’s. Amen.

http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights 
reserved.