I just finished teaching a six-week series in Bible study on the topic of having margins in our lives. I worked my way through Richard Swenson’s book, Margins. The later part of that study had a great deal to do with resources and finances. And frankly it provoked the question, “What is enough?”
Maybe it is helpful to review a couple of current statistics. The median income level in the U.S. is just over $56,000. Contrast that with the worldwide income figure of $9,733. If we make more than $32,000 a year, we are in the top one percent of the entire world.
And yet, we have little in savings (most of us less than $1000 in the bank); carry an average of $15,000 in revolving credit card debt and our society experiences over one million bankruptcies per year.
We are driven to have just a little more.
We want a little more income, a little longer vacation, a bigger house, a little newer car, and a bunch of newer clothes. We want more.
Kant once remarked, “Give a man everything he wants and at that moment, everything will not be everything.”
The Bible has much to say about contentment and this week might be a wonderful opportunity to set aside some times to review our Biblical perspective on “stuff” and the contentment it does or does not bring.
J.I. Packer said, “It is essentially a matter of acceptance from God’s hand what He sends because we know that He is God and therefore it is good.” And I might add, it is enough.
Contentment is the realization that what we have is plenty. We aren’t pretending that everything is perfect, just assuring ourselves that everything we have is enough.
This week, let’s chew on Paul’s thoughts out of Phil. 4:
“…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content…”