With apologies to the classic book of the same name by Francis Schaeffer, I have recently been struck by the phrase “How should we then live?” It’s one of those thoughts that is stuck in my head and refuses to leave. In what ways will I set myself apart from the rest of the world and be identified as a disciple of Christ? In what ways will I pursue justice for the weak, the homeless, the orphan and the widow? How should I then speak for them? How should I then stand up for those who cannot do so on their own?
In Proverbs 30:8, it says that we should desire “just enough”. We should not desire too much or we might become greedy and slothful. If we have too little, we may become jealous of others and perhaps even resort to dishonesty and theft to gain what belongs to someone else. Paul echoes these sentiments in his letter to the Philippians (chapter 4, verses 11 and 12). I have prayed this prayer in relation to my finances. I desire to have “just enough”; if I am blessed with anything more, then I know I must invest that money in the kingdom by giving it to the poor. If I am blessed to have “too little”, then it is my responsibility to learn to draw closer to God during this time and allow Him to grow my faith in Him. To receive the blessing of “just enough” is a great practice in humility and should not cause stress, but rather thanksgiving.
I believe that this same principal applies to all other areas of our life as well. Having “just enough” to eat leads to far greater health than overindulgence. To have “just enough” in terms of our clothing, the number of our possessions or the size of our homes is to live in humility before the Lord. A follower of Christ should never be attempting to keep up with the Jones’, but rather to find favor from Jesus! And so on a very personal level, I believe that is how we should live. We should live in a constant state of “just enough”. Be content with that which the Lord has blessed you. If ever you feel like you do not have enough, cry out to God to further fill you with His Spirit, because He is definitely enough. Let Jesus fill the emptiness in your life and you will be eternally full.
Having “just enough”, living humbly and in full faith before our God, will give us the attitude we need to spread His love to those around us. Having just enough food will cause us to sacrifice when we feed someone in need; having just enough “stuff” will enable us to be blessed by giving more than we are able. Ultimately, the way we should live is in service to others; it’s demonstrating the love of God to friend and stranger, acquaintance and neighbor. We are called to love, service and obedience. We have been given just enough strength to accomplish what God has created us to do.
How should we then live? We should live in humility and faith, seeking just enough to survive and serve, and being content with whatever we are provided. We should live always putting the needs of others before our own. We should live in a constant state of devotion and submission to God. We should live as people who pursue justice for all people, who feed the hungry and clothe those in need. We should live as obedient, faithful and loving servants of Jesus Christ. This, then, is how we should live.