Monday, April 25, 2011

Coping with Plenty — Flourish

Coping with Plenty — Flourish:

"I have learned to be content
with whatever I have.
I know what it is to have little,
and I know what it is to have plenty.
In any and all circumstances I have
learned the secret of being well-fed
and of going hungry, of having plenty
and of being in need.

Philippians 4:11-12

People marvel that the apostle Paul could be content while chained in a prison cell for years. This former Pharisee probably lived in filth and darkness, ridicule, and loneliness. At best, his movements were restricted under house arrest by the Romans.

But it’s just as bewildering that Paul was content in times of plenty. When he stayed with rich folks such as Philemon or Lydia, he didn’t envy them or think, “Jesus was poor. Don’t they know that?” When he moved on from their homes to less opulent situations he didn’t think, “I sure do miss all that great food and the beautiful home.” He was truly content with whatever he had.

We’re discovering that the pressure of constant expansion often leads to the exploitation of both God’s world and other people.

Contrary to what we usually think, having plenty does not make us content. Instead, a taste of plenty makes us want a little more than what we’ve got. When offered an increase in salary, who among us would say, “No thanks. I’m content with what I have. I don’t need a thing”?

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This is an excellent article that shows how today's society contributes to our discontent with what we have. I thought the thoughts on how living a life of simplicity often involves buying more products particularly insightful. They also have some good comments about how we can train ourselves to go without. The article finishes with some steps buying can take to experiment with simplicity, including reading certain section of the bibles and exploring questions in a journal. Well worth the read!

Coping with Plenty — Flourish:

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