Wednesday, April 20, 2005

How Much is Enough?

Posted by Hello
I just finished reading Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, and I am left with more questions than answers. I found that some of Sider's suggestions for a simpler life, such as living in a commune or attempting to live at poverty level, were impractical for my family.

Living in a commune requires other believers of like mind, willing to do the same. While we cannot do this at this point in time, we do, however, live within walking distance of family and share equipment and appliances with them. We also share with our neighbors when anyone has need, and I have found that our church members share and give among each other regularly.

While I do not want to be guilty of not being willing to place all of my possessions and wealth before the Lord, there are a great many complexities to examine when it comes to how that should look in real life. For example, if my family were to live at "poverty level," we would not be able to afford our medications necessary for life without relying upon the government, which has its own faults. We would not be able to afford transportation to work, and our daughter would have to go to public school (yikes!). So, where do we draw the lines, or are there really lines to be drawn at all?

This week I will be starting a new book, How Much is Enough?. I'm sure it will not answer all my questions, but I think the title question is a good one to start with. Mary Poppins said, "Enough is as good as a feast," and there is a great deal of truth to that. So, as I go about my week, I will be asking myself just how much is enough in all situations. I know there is no mathematical answer to that question and that the answer will vary with each person, but hopefully it will help to point me in finding my satisfaction in God rather than in things, thereby releasing some of our relative wealth to aid others.


Katherine Alba said...

You have a good point, there. I sometimes wish for more, but at the same time I enjoy and am working towards simplicity. However, I think I can have enough without being or looking impoverished. It's a good reminder not to allow consumerism and materialism rule our lives.


Mrs. Happy Housewife said...

The mindset for many of us is to seek out the New, the Better, the More. It's difficult to step back and admit that what we think we need is actually merely a want. TV, movies, and magazines foster consumer therapy and a false sense of happiness. I find that the more time I spend away from mass media, the easier it is to identify my true needs.

Calla Lilly said...

I find it's especially hard to differentiate need from want when new inventions make old ones obsolete. Example: We had a wonderful record collection that was replaced by a tape collection that was replaced by a CD collection Ofcourse, all of those are wants, not needs, but you get the idea. :)