10 Great Reasons to Live with Enough: A Book Excerpt
The Bible offers a better way. In the wisdom of God, the Bible includes countless verses about money and wealth, and the futility of pursuing either. The Bible teaches that it's foolish to try to satisfy the needs of a priceless, eternal human soul by throwing stuff at it. Beyond that, it tells us that we are going to be held accountable for how we manage what God has given us—specifically, our money and other resources. It tells us that we are to care for the poor, the widows, and orphans, and to help spread the hope-giving message of Jesus Christ. And it promises that there is great joy and contentment to be found in living with less, giving more, and seeking to serve others by using what God has given us. While Mike hasn't yet discovered how to have more by living with less, many others have.
Now don't panic. I'm not asking you to take a vow of poverty, and more importantly, the Bible doesn't either. I am asking you to consider the Bible's promises to those who willingly choose to live with less. I know it's counterintuitive, but the Bible actually says you'll be richer if you scale back what you have. It says your life will be fuller. You'll have less stress, more time for the things that matter, the potential for better relationships, and more joy. Bottom line: in the language of our culture, you'll be happier.
That alone is reason enough to keep reading.
Consider Tom and Kristin. Tom is a financial planner and Kristin a personal trainer. They make a good living and are successful by just about anyone's standard—beautiful kids, nice neighborhood, comfortable house, and financial security. However, as Tom and Kristin continued to grow in their discipleship, and specifically as they got involved with their church's missions ministry, they both began to sense that God wanted them to rethink their lifestyle. They came to see the disparity between how they were living, what they were modeling for their kids, and what the Scriptures taught about giving and living with enough.
As a result of the Spirit's leading in their lives, Tom and Kristin started making changes. They sold their house and moved into a smaller one in the same area. They increased their giving and reduced their respective workloads so they could spend more time serving. Their lives have done a complete 180-degree turn...and they couldn't be happier. Tom and Kristin have discovered the biblical secret of living with less. They find their hope and joy in following Jesus and in living to bless others. They have rejected the cultural notion that more matters.
In other words, they don't buy into what marketers want us to believe, the "money equals happiness" promise. Tom and Kristin are pushing back on the pressure many of us feel to spend money like there's no tomorrow, almost as if it's our duty. They don't feel obligated to keep spending money so that our nation will have a strong and thriving economy. They also understand that what they have or don't have doesn't in any way define who they are or reflect their value. They've decided to radically embrace the biblical teaching that they don't own anything—that they really are just managers of what God has entrusted to them. And they're experiencing firsthand the Bible's promises that those who live with less and give more will have all that they need—physically, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. You can too.
Tom and Kristin are not unusual. I believe there is an enough revolution brewing in our culture, and I've got countless examples to prove it. A significant number of Christ followers are coming to the conclusion that more doesn't matter and that you really can have joy, peace, and blessing by living with less. Becoming an enough Christian isn't as hard as it seems and not nearly as painful as your instincts may tell you. In fact, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to live with less. You'll even wonder how you got by all those years with so much. Less matters. Less really is more.