I Have Plenty, Part 2

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"My brother, I have plenty," Esau answered. "Keep what you have for yourself."

Genesis 33:9

I want to spend another day reflecting on Esau's simple statement, "I have plenty." Since most of us struggle with an unquenchable desire for more "stuff," I wonder how we can get to a place of satisfaction and peace.

In my experience, gratitude for what I have can calm my desire for more "stuff." When I actually take time to think about all that God has given to me and to thank him for it, including but not only my material possessions, my heart begins to rest. I find myself "needing" less and enjoying more the manifold gifts of God. So, thankfulness is an antidote to our "stuff addiction."

In addition to gratitude, generosity can also reduce our desire for more things. In his excellent book called Money and Power, the French sociologist and theologian Jacques Ellul observes that giving away what we have actually breaks the power of possessions over us. The choice to be generous, even as it leads us to have fewer things, actually diminishes the power of those things over our heart.

Gratitude and generosity will help us to be able to say "I have plenty." They will empower us to invest our lives and our "stuff" in the kingdom of God.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When is the last time you thanked God for his gifts to you? Are you overdue for a season of gratitude? Is God calling you to be generous with what he has given you? Should you do something in response to his call today?

PRAYER: Gracious God, today I want to take time to thank you for your bountiful gifts to me, especially my "stuff." So thank you for my home, my car, my furniture (especially my new bed!), my clothing, my tools (in particular those that were once my grandfather's and that always remind me of him). Thank you for my workshop, my computer, my desk, my office furniture at work, my coffee maker, my iPod and speakers. Thank you for a comfortable chair and good lighting so I can read and study. Thank you for my new chainsaw and lots of wood to cut. Thank you for a porch on which to sit while I think and pray. Thank you for excellent Bible software that helps me to study your word efficiently. Thank you for my jacket that keeps me warm when I walk the dog at night.

O Lord, I realize that I could go on and on with specific thanks. Forgive me for being so overdue in this kind of prayer. Help me to find time, even later today, to thank you for your lavish gifts to me. Amen.