I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:12-13

How Much Is Enough?

How much is enough?

My daughter Hannah is 6 years old, and she is all girl. My efforts to interest her in sports, playing in the dirt, or using tools in my shed, have fallen flat. She is all about dancing, dressing up, nail polish and chapstick – which she calls her lipstick. And chapstick is her weakness. She LOVES her chapstick.

A trip to the store inevitably leads to her begging and pleading for us to purchase her a chapstick. Most times, my wife Kristin and I have the willpower to resist giving in to her repeated requests. But sometimes – whether its because we have soft hearts or because her constant badgering has worn us out – we give in. We buy her the chapstick she wants. 

While cleaning her room recently, Kristin and I discovered that perhaps we haven’t resisted her repeated requests as often as we thought. Can you guess at how many chapsticks we found?  We gathered 23 chapsticks. 23!!! But in our defense, I believe many, if not most of them were covertly purchased when shopping with her Nana and Papa. Nana and Papa never say no. I suppose that is a grandparent privilege.

How much is enough?  Is 23 chapsticks enough?  Not to Hannah. She still begs for them when we are at the store, even though she has a whole bin of them at home.

My daughter’s love for chapstick is a dichotomy of how every sinful human mind naturally works – including yours and mine. No matter how much we have, we always want more. We think we need more. Contentment is NOT natural. Contentment takes effort!

So how do we battle our natural greed and discontentment in life?

St. Paul gives us the secret: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

And to whom is Paul referring to as the one who gives him strength?  It’s Jesus.  In Jesus, Paul didn’t just have enough, he had everything. And so do you!  You don’t just have enough – you have everything!  You have the forgiveness of sins and life eternal in heaven. You have an eternal home where every tear is wiped from your eyes. You have a future that includes no more pain or sorrow. You have eternal riches to enjoy beyond your wildest imagination. And you have the never-ending presence of your Savior and the company of all the saints. You don’t just have enough, you have everything, in Jesus.

May God grant you the strength to be content with what you have in this life, knowing that you have everything in eternity, through Jesus Christ your Savior.

How much is enough? It’s really a silly question. Because in Jesus, you have it all! 

Written by Brent R. Bitter, Staff Minister