I started this series talking about my very real fear of poverty. I am reminded every day just how close I am to it. Like many Americans, I’m just a few paychecks from despair. An unexpected job loss or a major health crisis would be a financial disaster.
So like many Americans, I fantasize about what I would do with an unexpected windfall (like winning the lottery.)
I’d give ten percent to my church. ( I take tithing seriously, but that’s a whole different series to write about), pay off my debt, probably by a bigger house, go back to school and help put a few family members. But unlike some, I would go back to work after a two week vacation.
I am reminded of the words of the ‘apostle’ Paul (again another topic for another series). He wrote, “I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Philippians 4:12
i am fascinated with this verse that precedes one of the most quoted scriptures of all time. Paul says he had experience with poverty and abundance and he had learned to live with either.
I struggle with this because learning to live when you lack seems like a survival skill. It seems like instinct kicks in and you do whatever needs to be done. But how does one learn to live in abundance?
It almost seems to me like this is the more difficult of the two. In today’s society, we associate more with better. Everything is bigger. Our TV sets take up entire walls. Our dinner plates are big enough for 3 people.
In a world where the standard is “bigger, better, faster”, how do we learn to be satisfied with what we have – which in most cases is more than enough?