Friday, July 31, 2015

Maslow's Hierarchy From A Godly Perspective

Almost all academics have either touched on or had in depth teaching on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. For any of you who have not had the pleasure, let me explain. Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist who wrote a paper in 1943 titled "A Theory of Human Motivation". In this paper Maslow described his theory of human development, growth, and psychology. This theory is what is called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This theory is widely used and taught in academic studies of Leadership, Development, and Psychology to name a few.

Maslow’s Hierarchy is represented as a pyramid with five sections. The most basic needs being on the bottom and then moving on up to self-actualization which is at the peak of the pyramid.
The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model includes:
1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.
2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.
3. Love and belongingness needs - friendship, intimacy, affection and love, - from work group, family, friends, and romantic relationships.
4. Esteem needs - achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, and respect from others.
5. Self-Actualization needs - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

According to Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs, one must achieve the basic needs in life, in order. BEFORE ultimately finding fulfillment, that fulfillment being self-actualization.
Now, I have no problem with Maslow’s theory or hierarchy of needs. In fact it is very interesting. HOWEVER, this is what I do have a problem with…
Nowhere in this pyramid of human needs is God mentioned or represented. That in and of itself is not a big problem because I understand that Maslow was a psychologist, a man of science and this entire hierarchy is from a purely SECULAR, ACADEMIC perspective. And I get that! What I DO NOT understand is how and why RELIGIOUS LEADERS take it upon themselves to teach/preach about Maslow’s Hierarchy (which is purely a secular view of human development and leadership) as if it were the GOSPEL! There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between being a leader in corporate America and being a leader for GOD! Yes you can incorporate aspects of this hierarchy and teach it from a secular view but you should not take the things of the world and try to teach them as if they were uttered from God! When you teach from your pulpit, that one must go through these steps and stages in order to reach the pinnacle of human development which is SELF ACTUALIZATION you are in essence teaching the people that they can and will achieve their best life WITHOUT JESUS! If you are teaching your people this and not putting it in any kind of perspective with God’s word then YOU are setting your people up for failure! How can anyone achieve their BEST LIFE without JESUS? How can “Self-Actualization be achieved, maintained, and understood without JESUS?
Spiritual Leaders get yourselves into order with God’s word and let the people know that WITHOUT CHRIST THERE IS NO LIFE! 

The Maslow Hierarchy of Needs should be taught this way using the word of GOD…
1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.
But God Says ... Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 3 John 2: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear. But God Says ... 2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

3. Love and belongingness needs - friendship, intimacy, affection and love, - from work group, family, friends, and romantic relationships. But God Says ... 1 John 4:7-9 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

4. Esteem needs - achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, and respect from others. But God Says ... Joshua 1:7-8 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

5. Self-Actualization needs - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. But God Says ... Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

IN OTHER WORDS… If you cannot or will not tie it back to God’s word than why are you wasting my time with it? I don’t need to know how smart you are, or how educated you are, or what a great academic mind you are. I need to know what a great leader of God’s people you are. I have already had YEARS of academic pandering (Associates, Bachelors, and Masters, Thank You), so I don’t need that from my Spiritual Leaders. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are MANY AWESOME Teachers of God’s word. That is not what I’m talking about. I am talking about those academics who will try to take all the things of the world and try to teach it as if it is better than or equal to God and His word! As a Spiritual Leader I need you to instruct, lead, and build up my spirit man by teaching more about the things of Christ! You cannot continue to take the things of the world and TRY to apply Godly principles to it. You must take Godly principles and INFLUENCE the world with them!
Stop trying to tell me all about how corporate America teaches, trains, and makes leaders, I can go to the world for that… Instead tell me how JESUS trained, built up, and groomed Godly Leaders!

Remember... You Will ONLY Reach Self-Actualization By Knowing That It IS NOT About SELF! It Is, Was, and Will ALWAYS Be About Christ! And Without Christ How Can You EVER Be The Best YOU?!

Regina

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3 People Saying Something!

Elfreda Jones 31 July, 2015 17:22

Thank you for an excellent comparative analysis of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and the Word of God that governs my life.

mema

WOW!!!!! Sweetie you said it all.

Anonymous

Great article, Gina. Unfortunately, this teaching on Maslow is probably only the latest in a stream of pop psychology that preachers have been substituting and proclaiming as gospel. Indeed, we have turned our church culture to esteem the word of atheistic psychologists instead of holy scripture. At least you were told what theory your preacher was coming from- a lot of these ministers conveniently forget to cite their source and rather weave scientific theory into scriptural exegesis. Smh - a most unholy mixture.

Thanks for making your statement.
Joanne

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