How much is enough?

I had just arrived in Cambridge for my Ph.D. work. I knew nothing about the town but wanted to worship on my first Sunday morning in England. I had no mode of transportation other than my feet. So I started off through the park on my quest for a house of worship.

As you might expect, I quickly found a small Anglican church. The worship style was a bit awkward for a lifelong Southern Baptist, but the message was both biblical and convicting. The pastor quoted from a little book entitled Enough Is Enough and then proceeded to ask us how we determined how much was enough.

That question raised a couple of important issues that I have continued to ponder: What is the purpose of material possessions? And how do I handle that which God provides that goes beyond my basic needs?

We have already discovered that God designed the Garden of Eden as an environment in which all of man’s needs were provided for. Further, we have discovered that God’s blessing is often described in terms of abundance. The psalmist declared: “May there be plenty of grain in the land; may it wave on the tops of the mountains. May its crops be like Lebanon. May people flourish in the cities like the grass of the field” (Ps. 72:16).

The oft-repeated phrase “milk and honey” graphically portrays abundance. “Listen, Israel, and be careful to follow them [God’s laws], so that you may prosper and multiply greatly, because the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you a land flowing with milk and honey” (Deut. 6:3).

Therefore, the possibility of abundance demands that the kingdom-focused person ask himself or herself, “How do I use that which goes beyond my basic needs?”

How much is enough?

Hemphill, Ken. 2006. Making Change: A Transformational Guide to Christian Money Management. Nashville, TN: B&H Books.

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