As the days fly by bringing us closer to Thanksgiving, we begin to get inundated with ads of sales of every kind from turkeys to Toyotas. It seems that our culture excels in feeding our desire for more of everything this time of year. Excess is hard to combat amidst constant up selling and bargain deals. Last week, one daily news station noted that the average family will go into $250 of debt for Christmas gifts alone, excluding the money spend to reach incentives for a 'free' turkey or other items.
It is hard to not succumb to loosening our wallets and our belts as we approach both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The effects of which are not solely money spent or pounds gained. It extends to our hearts and minds, leaving us unsatisfied and discontent. We are left questioning whether we have enough ourselves, provided food enough for our family to meet their expectations, or gifts enough to meet our and their approval. We wrestle with what is enough.
The challenge for us as Christians living in a consumer driven society is to not get swept away in such temptations. A tall order! We want to live, as followers of Jesus, to find Him as enough. We are called to follow His lead. And as we look to the example of Jesus' life and ministry we see He had very little in this life, and yet had more than the most wealthy in all the world. In His perfect relationship to and with God He had more than He would ever need. And He had all of His needs met. He never lacked a thing.
As Jesus' apprentices we too are called to find such a balance. Paul reminds us in the text above that godly contentment is great gain. This of course does not mean we cannot enjoy the things God provides for us, nor give gifts. Rather, it means learning to find contentment in Him alone, and not allowing ourselves to be sold short by fleeting desires and wants.
Stewardship seasons are a blessing toward this end. And I believe that having them during this time of year helps us stop, pause, and reflect upon this more fully. It enables us to ask ourselves questions as to how much is enough, and where do we find contentment. I pray that as we do, we too will be called into deeper fellowship with the Lord as we find Him to be more than enough.