10 Great Reasons to Live with Enough: A Book Excerpt
I invite you to join the enough revolution. In the pages that follow, you'll discover what it means to "move toward enough." You'll learn to recognize the myth of more and experience the joy of living with less. And you'll be gripped by the practical reality of Jesus' words: "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
Section 1: Enough Is Enough
Give me enough food to live on, neither too much nor too little.
Agur, as quoted in Proverbs 30:8 (Message)
How Much Is Enough?
Enough. It's a curious word, isn't it? Why don't you say it out loud a few times—enough, enough, enough. I bet you can even define the word without looking it up: the condition or state of having plenty; to be full or filled; without lack. Enough.
We use the word enough many times each day without even thinking. I have enough gas to get home. Do you have enough money for the movie? We've got enough time for just two more questions. I don't have enough sugar for the recipe. We don't have enough money to pay our taxes. I've had just about enough of your back talk. I think I've got enough room for one more helping of cobbler.
Enough. Whatever enough is, we instinctively know when we do or do not have enough of it.
Except when it comes to things and money. Why is it that so many of us don't know how to define enough when dealing with the material and/or financial aspects of our lives? You would think that those boundaries of enough would be the easiest to figure out. You just define it by what you need, right? If you need $10 for a movie and you have $10, then you have enough. If it costs $35 to fill up your gas tank and you have $35, then you've got enough.
But it isn't really that simple, is it? When it comes to stuff, we wrestle with all kinds of questions about what is and isn't enough. How many square feet—bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, kitchen, dining room, breakfast nook, exercise room, entertainment room, workroom, and study—will make up enough house for us? How much car—new or used; lease or own; cloth, vinyl, or leather interior; single- or multi-CD player; V-6 or V-8 engine; GPS, speaker phone, TV, and DVD player; sun roof and/or moon roof—will be enough car for me? How much money—five figures (as long as the first figure is an 8 or a 9), six figures, or even seven figures—do I need to meet my needs? To feel secure? To be happy? To feel like I have enough? You get the point.
How can we so readily define enough when it comes to filling up our gas tanks but we can't define it when it comes to filling up our lives? As far as stuff is concerned, when is enough enough?
Victoria Frances (not her full name) believes that she was born to shop. As the editor of a Manhattan-based interior design magazine, Frances feels some sort of moral obligation to know the latest trends in home décor. Every Saturday morning Frances hits what she calls the Four B's—"Barney's, Bendel's, Bergdorf's, and Bloomies." But her buying, as she readily admits, isn't completely job related. For more than a decade, Frances has spent thousands of dollars a week on stuff—clothes, jewelry, furniture, shoes, etc. Finding pleasure through her possessions is a key part of her sense of self-love. Frances commented, "I love to be surrounded by beautiful and exotic things."1