By Pastor Anthony Scott
The most crucial and pressing question of our time is: What is enough? There are two aspects to this question. For those who are fortunate enough to live in affluence the focus is on acquisition. The watchwords of our time are more, further, richer, quicker, and faster. Hidden within this principle of unlimited acquisition we have in my lifetime begun to view things that were once a luxury as necessities. The problem with unlimited acquisition or growth for that matter is quite simply that the resources of the universe will not allow it. I am in no way a scientist but unlimited growth is impossible in a finite universe.
The other side of the question: What is enough focuses on the opposite end of the pendulum. A vast majority of our world and particularly our nation’s population still has hardly enough to exist. They are aware each and every day of the increasing gap between themselves and those of affluence. As a result, we see their discontent beginning to rumble. It expresses itself most violently in escalating crime rates. In light of the obvious, the question of enough is going to have to be reconsidered for both human and natural reasons.
Is there any hope for the anxiety that plagues our generation? The answer is yes, and it lies in what becomes possible through an authentic relationship with God. The Bible echoes the Good News that God has not left us to struggle with our problems all alone. God will help us. He is still concerned about what happens to us after creation which means that salvation or solution to our problems always takes the form of grace, it is never a matter of human works alone. He is the only hope for simplifying your life. This is what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 6:25-34.
Jesus is addressing the issue of enough. The anxiety of those who have too much takes the form of how to keep it. The anxiety of those who do not have enough assumes the form of how to get it. Each in their own way is anxious and to both Jesus says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” The answer to what is enough lies in our relationship to God.
Why are we so obsessed with having and acquiring? It really amounts to a desperate attempt to find satisfaction and security. The heart is truly a lonely hunter and the most common misconception is that the possession of things will truly satisfy that hunger. How many times have we said, if I could only have this or that then I would be happy. But does not Jesus say in John 15:11 that only in Him will our joy be full?
The most widespread allusion is the fantasy that if we only had more all of our problems would be solved. St. Augustine was right when he said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” We are made in the image of God and no material object or possession can every truly satisfy the hunger of the human heart. If you look deep into the source of our anxiety you will find this principle operative: seeking ultimate satisfaction in more and more and never finding the steady state of enough discovered by the Apostle Paul who had learned in all states to be content (Philippians 4:11).
Only the One who called us out of nothing into being can ultimately satisfy our hearts. This is why Jesus’ words, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” are so relevant. Only in God and in relationship to Him can the hunger of our lonely hearts be filled. When this happens the need to keep and get will cease and life becomes peacefully simple and authentically enjoyable.