I'm a daughter, granddaughter & niece of pastors. I love God & studying the Bible and want to empower others to do the same.
The materials were sufficient for them to do all the work. There was more than enough. -Exodus 36:7
I, and so many of us have such an abundance of food, water, money, clothes, and possessions. As a matter of fact, God allowed us to have too much so that we can use that excess to bless others how He tells us. Unfortunately I, and we are in far too much a hurried and distracted state trying to buy and own and possess everything we want right now and we (and society and social media) pressure ourselves too much into this, making ourselves miserable, stressed, anxious trying to achieve the impossible. The American dream has become about excess, greed, and hoarding. Social media ads and the constant messages and pressure to buy are specifically designed to perpetuate the cycle, with ads and lists (Top Five Things You Need Right Now for…). Ads specifically target us individually based on our scrolling history and interests, to convince us to buy what we don't need and won’t use, and to always be buying more.
I need to change my thinking. I need to stop looking at what I possess as not enough. It's a lie that media and advertising and fashion and home and garden websites and shows are designed to keep repeating to us so that we're always building, buying, and amassing more or different and never satisfied. Clothes change seasonally and every year. So if I obey society I need to buy an entirely new wardrobe 4x a year. TV shows make me feel like I need to update my house decor every time a new trend I like starts on home improvement shows. Cooking shows can be helpful, but they can also pressure me into feeling guilty for not cooking an elaborate meal that’s organic, whole grain, locally sourced, low sugar, high veg, low carb, etc. etc. every time we sit down to eat. These pressures are not possible for any human to maintain! Yet how many of us feel these pressures, this guilt often, even daily? How many of us succumb to them, buying too much for ourselves and others and our homes and children, working too much to pay for it all, never resting but always working on another project to make my life better, and maybe, this time, I’ll finally have it all done and clean and pretty and perfect and then I’ll finally be satisfied? It's a never-ending machine, the lie of the enemy: "Enough is never enough! There is never enough.”
The truth is: In Christ, because of the loving Father, we already have enough, right now. Do I have food in my fridge and pantry for tomorrow or even the next day? If so, I am thankful, because I have more than enough.
Do I have a closet of clothes and shoes at home, (no matter what season they're from)? If so, I am thankful because I have more than enough.
Do I have money in my bank account to pay the bills due this month and maybe a little extra for other things as well—luxuries like going out to eat, renting movies and streaming services, paying to go places and do things that aren’t actual necessities? If so, I am thankful that I have more than enough.
Do I have any money at all in savings? If so, I am thankful that I have more than enough. Do I have a home to go to with any furniture at all in it, with AC and heat and running water (when some people in villages will walk for miles to get enough just to drink today)?
Do I have my own bed with even one pillow and blanket? Do I maybe have even spare sheets, extra pillows, blankets in the closet? If so, I am thankful, because I have more than Jesus or many of the apostles did. I have more than enough. Do I or my family have any type of health insurance—medical, or even dental and vision? I have more than so many parents can provide for their children or people in the world. I have more than enough. I should thank God for that.
Do I have a Bible, in my own language? If so, I have more than enough. There are some countries still waiting for it to be translated into their language. And I have all the answers and wisdom I will ever need in that Bible through the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit. HE gives me strength and energy and everything I need to do all He calls me to.
For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this immense wilderness. The Lord your God has been with you these past forty years, and you have lacked nothing. -Deuteronomy 2:7 CSB
The Lord has filled him with God’s Spirit, with wisdom, understanding, and ability...God has filled them with skill to do all the work -Exodus 35:31, 35
So what do I do with all my excess? First, I give thanks. I stop complaining and I look at these things and I thank the Giver of them all, my God. Every day I look at something HE has given me and I give thanks for it, sincerely, knowing how blessed I am. And I ask God what does HE want me to do with all this excess (possessions, resources, money, talents, time, all of it)? I need to ask and Be Willing, be Surrendered, be Obedient enough to give any of it to whomever He says, whenever He tells me to, wherever.
There are some items in our houses He has us holding for other people who need them. Some things need to be donated. Some need to be tossed out and let go of. We don't need to keep things we don't like or use or want out of guilt because they were a gift. That's a trap that leads to hoarding. It’s ok to re-gift, especially to someone who can really use it or wants it. We need to be willing to part with anything God tells us to at any time, like Abraham was with Isaac on the altar of sacrifice. Sometimes God gives it back to us. Sometimes He gives us better instead. Sometimes there's a pruning period in between, of switching to having less before He gives more. I've been through it myself several times in life.
Having too many things is stressful, overwhelming, to the eyes and soul.
Some of the money we have been blessed with is to help the poor, the Bible calls them orphans and widows. Some of the food we have is to feed people other than our own families, even more than just our friends. I keep bags for the homeless in my car to give to them when I see them. There are lists of helpful items you can find, but there may be things in your home God wants you to give away to them or others too. He’s done it with me before, many times. And when I do, I feel lighter, blessed, joyful. I’m thankful that my God is the God of abundance, so that He can use me to share that abundance with others. I’m thankful that whatever I need, in Him, I have more than enough today for today, right now.
For more verses about this, read Ex. 35:20-35, 2 Chron. 31:10, Acts 2:44-47, Acts 4:34-35, 2 Cor. 8:14.
© 2021 Amanda Lorenzo