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R&V In the Word: The Land of Not Enough

Image: Sasha Mateeva

Read 1 Timothy 6:11-21 MSG

Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 MSG

We live in the land of “not enough.” 

Everywhere I turn, someone is telling me I need more. I need more clothes. I need different shoes. I need a better car. I need more books (this one is definitely true). 

Scarcity permeates our daily narrative. Whatever you have, it is not enough.

But the story that God told through Jesus Christ and his written word is one of abundance—abundant life, abundant joy, abundant freedom, abundant mercy, abundant love. 

You already have everything you need.

It doesn’t take me long to forget this truth. All I have to do is turn on the TV or walk around my neighborhood, and there she is, Envy, longing for just a little bit more. If I only had just a little bit more, then my soul would be satisfied, Envy says. I know she lies, but what if this time it’s true?

The times in my life that I’ve been most satisfied and at peace in my soul have been times that have required great trust and reliance on God alone to provide. They’ve been times of sacrifice, of selling cars, denying ourselves the pleasure of dining out so frequently, of saying “no” to the impulsive need to fill my Amazon cart. They have been times that required self-denial, during which God paradoxically “piled on all the riches we could ever manage”—not financial riches, necessarily, but overflowing joy, gratitude, and wonder. And our every need was met.

That we don’t have enough is a giant lie. It robs our hearts of contentment and prods us back onto the hamster wheel of production in order to get more, more, more that ultimately won’t satisfy. But at least we’ll be exhausted on top of it.

In our land of the “not enough” lie, it’s so tempting to buy into the neverending narrative that we need more of whatever it is that dangles in front of you right now. But Paul promises in 1 Timothy 6 that if we turn and pursue God instead—helping others, serving others, living with an open hand—we’ll build a treasury that will last. We’ll gain life that is truly life.

Abundant living, extravagantly generous living, sends love and hospitality out into the world and returns joy and satisfaction to your heart tenfold. It’s an investment that lasts.

Points of Reflection

  1. Is the allure of “more” and the narrative of “not enough” something that you wrestle with? How does this pursuit impact your sense of contentment and peace?
  2. Has there been a time when you had to rely on God more heavily, or a season when you intentionally practiced generosity? What difference did you notice in your emotional and spiritual well-being?

For the Kids

  1. Think about a time when you really wanted a new toy or gadget. How did you feel when you got it, and how long did that feeling last? Now think about a time when you shared something with a friend or helped someone in need. How did that make you feel, and how long did that feeling last?
  2. Imagine you have a jar that you can fill with things that make you happy. What kinds of things would you put in your jar if you wanted it to be full of lasting happiness? How can helping others and being kind to those around you add to your jar of happiness?


It takes intentional work to shift your mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance. I’ve found that the best way to reorient my vision is to practice the act of gratitude throughout the day. This can begin by keeping a daily gratitude journal, or by simply recounting together with your family around the table one thing you are grateful for today. From there, expand your practice outward. Find more intentional moments during your day to thank God for what is right in front of you. An inner prayer of gratitude will gradually rewire our hearts and minds to see the abundance of God’s provision in every single moment of our days.


One of the most impactful books I’ve read in the last five years is The Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster. It is both a practical and spiritual guide for shaping our hearts and minds through the grace and discipline of simplicity. I wrote a little more about The Freedom of Simplicity earlier this year, but it is worth recommending once more. There is great freedom through simplicity.

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