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Wednesday, February 22, 2017


John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), considered the richest American in history, was once asked how much money was enough. He famously replied, "A little bit more." Welcome to American thinking. Well, welcome to human thinking. Most of us are pretty sure that what we really need is "a little bit more." Christians are not immune. Even churches seem to seek "just a little bit more" -- more attendees, more money, more fame, more influence in their world.

So, Christian, how much is "enough"? How much is enough stuff? How much is enough comfort? Conversely, is the smallest pain considered "too much"? How much difficulty is too much difficulty? Paul characterized greed as idolatry (Col 3:5); do we characterize it as good? How much is enough?

John Piper told a group of college students, "I'll tell you what makes Jesus look beautiful. It's when you smash your car, and your little girl goes flying through the windshield, and lands dead on the street ... and you say through the deepest possible pain, 'God is enough.'"

Is God enough?


Marshall Art said...

It's somewhat a balancing seek all that God has to offer (materially), while never forgetting Who provides it. I think we show our greed side when our financials reveal debt that grows rather than shrinks. It indicates we want what we are not willing to acquire responsibly.

But "to acquire" itself is not problematic. It's how and how much importance placed upon the acquiring such that God is forgotten. My ideal is to be debt free with a level of income that allows comfortable living...not ostentatious, as it were...with discretionary amounts for both the support of charitable causes and to enjoy the life God gave me. Achieving this can't help but turn the focus away from God for a time. But I never turn away for long, because He is so important to me personally...beyond any desire to achieve.

There's also the problem that for some, "God is enough" is justification for sitting on one's butt doing as little as possible, while being a burden (or slowly becoming one) on others.

Stan said...

"It's how and how much importance placed upon the acquiring ..."

I'd say it's largely why. A person that goes to great efforts to acquire large sums in order to advance the kingdom of God, for instance, is not the same as a person who does the same to pad their wallets. If we are to do all for the glory of God, this would be included. We like to seek all that God offers materially, but how often do we seek it for His glory rather than our pleasure?

I don't think "the American Dream" is a biblical concept.

And the other side you mention is specifically forbidden in Scripture. Clearly they're using "God is enough" as an excuse while not actually believing it, or they'd be intent on obedience.

Marshall Art said...

There is another distinction that fails in practice. That is, I don't see how it actually works as the concept implies it should. If I seek more, doing so does not necessarily, just by the seeking, fail to glorify God despite no stated purpose of doing so. "I'm going to buy these nice shoes to glorify God" How does that work exactly? Doing all for the glory of God, it seems to me, is a more general philosophy than a specific intention for each and every specific task.

Stan said...

I would disagree.

Stan said...

Seriously, Marshall, will you stand on that? I ask not as a challenge, but as a question. When Paul says, "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor 10:31), you would argue, "It's actually a more general philosophy than a specific intention for each and every specific task"? Paul references eating and drinking to the glory of God. You would say, "No, not specifically"?