When Enough is Enough

February 20, 2019 by David Loleng

Rev. David Loleng, Director of Financial Literacy and Leadership wrote When Enough is Enough for the Luther Seminary Center for Stewardship Leaders. No greater theme has led stewardship talk in the past generation than that of “abundance vs. scarcity.” In today’s piece, David Loleng acknowledges the popularity of the trope while seeking to add complexity. How does abundance language implicate cultural themes of conspicuous consumption or prosperity gospel? As an alternative, David suggests a humbler frame for our stewardship themes: enough.

When Enough is Enough

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

“…. and be content with what you have…”

Hebrews 13:5

Our culture has convinced us that abundant life is about getting more – more of anything that can be better, newer, faster, and in our hands sooner. The anxious urge to “consume now and pay later” is fed by a sense of scarcity. Advertising preys on these fears; the average person in the USA is bombarded by over 4,000 advertisements each day. Ads often work by implying our lives are inadequate and unfulfilled, illustrating that we somehow need every excess we want. This ubiquitous consumerism is diametrically opposed to the abundant life Jesus reveals (John 10:10).

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