Appreciate Your Assets of Abundance: An Excerpt from “Free”

Appreciate Your Assets of Abundance: An Excerpt from “Free” August 6, 2013

This month at the Patheos Book Club, we’re featuring a new book on faith and money called Free: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most, by Mark Scandrette. The following is an exercise excerpted from the book. 

Appreciate Your Assets of Abundance

Life can seem scarce rather than abundant when we hurry or forget to savor all that we’ve been given…

What if we measured wealth in purposeful work, simple pleasures and meaningful relationships? Many of the things we enjoy most in life are hard to put a monetary value on. Rate the following assets from 1-5 (1 being lowest value, 5 being highest value) of abundance in terms of the pleasure and value they bring to you.

The beauty of the natural world

The pleasure of food

Physical health and safety

A sense of security and peace

Physical activity

Friends and family

Spiritual awareness

Romance and sexual intimacy

Emotional health and support

Access to information and learning

Noble and purposeful work

Realized talents and skills

Opportunities to love and serve

Creative expression

Free time and sabbath rest

The joy of music

Access to the arts and culture

Watching or playing sports

Character and wisdom

Patience and joy

Freedom and liberty

Strength to endure suffering and loss

Other __________________


Which nonmonetary/nonmaterial assets do you enjoy and appreciate the most?

Why do you think we tend to overvalue material possessions and undervalue other assets of abundance?


Experiment: Keep a Daily Gratitude Log

The practice of gratitude helps us recognize how we have been lavished and loved. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1). Living gratefully is an important spiritual discipline because it affirms what is evidentially true—that we are cared for by an abundant Provider who delights to give us many good things. This week keep a daily gratitude log. At the beginning or end of each day write down five things you are thankful for. Try not to repeat. If you write each item in sentence form, your list will begin to take the shape of a poem. For example:

I am grateful for . . .

the taste of coffee in the morning

how sunlight fills a room with warmth

the gentleness of a kiss on the cheek

the power I feel in my legs when I run

Your list could be a random collection of things that move you, or you might pick a theme for each day: food, people, nature. Or you might want to spend some extra time outside looking and listening for signs of God’s abundance. At the end of the week read your poetic list to a friend or small group.

For more conversation on the new book Free, visit the Patheos Book Club here.  


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