Real Answers for Camper’s ‘Fundamental Desires’

Is this subtle trap in your bible camp’s staff manual? This is what I came too while advising a camp manual audit. It’s pretty standard stuff. It’s probably taught in any basic psychology class.  As the accepted secular ‘doctrine of man’ it was given to me in my graduate camp administration class years ago.

Below you’ll see the “fundamental desires of all human beings” presented as I found them. Maybe they find a page in your manual. It makes for good common sense. They give the basis for good behavior modification for counseling campers. But if life transformation is your goal as a Christian camp ministry – then what’s the point? They give no answers for life’s dilemma. Here is the list as presented in this case. I follow with possible answers for the Christian camp counselor.

“To help you better understand your cabin group and perhaps yourself. The following material is made available. All human beings have the following desires:”

  1. The desire for RECOGNITION including social approval, prestige, status and commendation, which causes the child to avoid situations which result in ridicule, scorn or disapproval.
  2. The desire for AFFECTION including appreciation, understanding, intimacy and support, which causes avoidance of situations where there is a lack of love and appreciation.
  3. The desire for POWER – level of aspiration including achievement, success, and mastery which results in the avoidance of situations involving frustration and a sense of failure. Some set their levels low in order to avoid failure.
  4. The desire for NEW EXPERIENCES including novelty, adventure, excitement, thrill, and change, which causes avoidance off dullness, monotony and boredom.
  5. The desire for SECURITY including protection, confidence, optimism, which bring about avoidance of situations of fear, apprehension, danger, insecurity, and pessimism. Security is not a place but a person to camper or counselor.

As believers serving Christ we should see the call for genuine answers to life’s need. Reaction to camper needs felt or real does no good if they do not receive real direction for their problem. Here is sample alternative. Let’s meet heart longings with real answers from God’s words.

  1. Answering the “the desire of RECOGNITION”In Christ a camper can become a new creation. With new life as a child of God there comes unending significance as a joint heir of eternity with Jesus.
    1. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new  (2 Corinthians 5:17)*
    2. Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:7)
  2. Answering “the desire for AFFECTION” No affection is stronger than the love of God to the world that He would send His own son to die for it. Now the child of God can be enveloped into the loving arms of Abba (Daddy) Father.
    1. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?(Romans 8:32)
    2. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6)
  3. Answering “the desire for POWER” The true mastery of life is the mastery over sin. No power is greater than that of the personal victory over sin available in Jesus.
    1. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world––our faith. (1 John 5:4)
  4. Answering “the desire for NEW EXPERIENCE” For the unbeliever there is no greater experience than to by faith accept Christ as Lord and follow Him as a disciple. A growing believing faith in Christ empowers us to accept new life adventures.
    1. Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
  5. Answering “the desire for SECURITY” The love of God dispels all fear. To become the child of God, loved by God, and empowered by God to live by faith will overcome any fear that overwhelms us and provide us constant eternal hope in God.
    1. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.(1 John 4:18)

Have a great summer giving real answers from the Book for Life

*All scriptures quoted from the NKJV


About the Ordinary Hiker

A Christian camp director for many years, I enjoy ministry and being outdoors. I refer to God's creative wonder as the testimony of creation, a special place where God brings His word to life. Its where I like to be and where God speaks in His gentle voice in the awe of His creative work.
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