Monday, October 23, 2006

How Much is Enough?

Last night we looked at 1 Timothy 6:6-10. The text sparked a conversation about our financial resources. We discussed our desire for material possessions such as cars, an XBox, and clothes from Polo or Ann Tyler. How much can we spend on these things? Should we buy them even if we can afford them? What should we be doing with our money?

This turned to conversation to the church. Do we want the church to tell us how to spend our money? We laughed at the fact that most stewardship sermons make us uncomfortable. Is that because we don't like the church talking about money or because they hit too close to home? Huh, we'll have to sort that one our for ourselves.

We then discussed the idea of contentment. The text suggested that we need to be content with food and clothing but most of us find that we always want more. We think that if we can earn just a few dollars more, life would be easier. We could take that much needed vacation and actually get away. We could buy the coffee or get a pedicure without having to count our pennies and carefully budget such frivolities into our spending habits. And yet, when do we have enough? All of us were honest enough to admit that most likely we'd always want just a little more (unless we were Bill Gates or Paris Hilton......would it really make any difference at that point?!). So at what point do we find contentment? And is contentment such a good thing? Does it bread complacency and take away our drive to do better?

We decided that we can find contentment or satisfaction in our financial position. We also felt that contentment did not equal complacency. One can still strive to improve whether it be in their personal life, career, or even their hobbies (For example, is there anything wrong with looking for the best beer in any particular genre?) and be content even in the midst of the striving. We noted that many of the great inventions never made their inventors millionaires. Just think of the guy that invented the polio vaccine. Do you even know his name? We're pretty sure he wasn't rolling in the dough. If you would like to find out, here's a link about good ole' Jonas Salk.

So, we didn't solve any of life's great mysteries but we at least wrestled with our own personal spending habbits. And in the end, how we spend our money may make a greater difference then we can imagine.

By the way, Chad recommends ABC's Porter.


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