Chris was a man I know only because of coffee. Chris and I met at Starbucks. We laughed together, prayed together, studied together, and sometimes we just drank coffee together. Our meetings were always coincidental—perhaps providential. Despite the frequency of our time together, our conversations seem to always pick up exactly where we left off.
Chris’ story is different from most people. He left South Memphis and pursued a good education, entered the work force, married, had a son, divorced, and returned to Shelby County. I know his story sounds pretty normal. The difference is that Chris left the corporate world with its high paying salary to take a three-year sabbatical to write a book (which ended up being three books).
I realize not everyone has the skill set to stop working and write a book. Paul said that you should provide for your family (1 Timothy 5:8). He instructed the Ephesian Christians to work so they can give to others in need (Ephesians 4:28). We are told that if you don’t work, you don’t eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Understand, I am not advocating that fathers should walk away from their jobs.
My friend Chris was able to walk away from the corporate world because he realized he had ‘enough.’ He had enough of the corporate experience. He had enough financial resources to walk away thanks to his corporate experience. He had enough of the corporate climb. He had enough of his son being the last child picked up from daycare because his daddy was working late. He had enough of pursuing what is commonly referred to as “The American Dream.”
One of our problems is that we have been trained to believe that regardless of what we have, it is never enough. No matter how large our house is, it’s not big enough. No matter how prestigious our title at work is, it is not enough. No matter how large our paycheck is, it is never enough. No matter how full our closet is, it is never enough.
The bible talks about having ‘enough.’ Paul said it this way:
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me(Philippians 4:10–13).
Sometimes we miss the point of v. 13. We think it says we can do literally anything we want because of Christ. Understand the context. The context is saying that no matter what you go through in life, with Christ you can be content. You can have ‘enough.’
Do you have enough? We sing the song “Count Your Many Blessings” often. When you actually sit down to count those blessings, are they enough?
Jesus said, “…one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). Those words condemn our “never enough” lifestyle. We were created to pursue stuff. Jesus didn’t offer His body as the ultimate sacrifice for us so that we could climb the corporate ladder, build our portfolios, and enjoy the finer things of this world. That’s not what our life is about. Later in that chapter Jesus says the “one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God” is a fool (Luke 12:20–21).
Don’t be foolish. Count your blessings and come to the realization that you have enough! God has given each of us more than enough. Don’t be afraid to be content. Through Him, we can do exactly that (Philippians 4:13).