The Blessedness of Not Having It All
Let me start by saying, it is by no means more godly or spiritual to have less. If God has blessed you with “more,” then thank Him, enjoy and be generous! Poverty is not God’s invention. It is a result of a broken world. Who better to manage worldly resources than the Body of Christ?
However, neither is it more godly or spiritual to have more, as some Christian leaders would have you believe. Sometimes the workings of God are mysterious and wonderful, and He can use even a situation of “less” for blessing!
Here’s what I mean…
“Oh God, I beg two favors from you before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.” Proverbs 30:7-9 (NLT)
Material and financial blessing isn’t the only kind of blessing God can give.
In fact, God could be blessing you by not letting you have it all.
So often we mistakenly think this life is what matters –our daily comfort, our temporary happiness, our worldly appetites. We look around at our material possessions and, instead of gratitude, we feel discontentment and dissatisfaction. We think we need more.
Suddenly a closet full of clothes isn’t enough. A warm place to call home isn’t enough. That car, those shoes, these furnishings, (insert anything) aren’t enough.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to have or buy things!
But it’s the state of our hearts that matter, not our things.
And sometimes that ability to buy, buy, buy is a great enemy of contentment.
Sometimes God protects us from ourselves.
Because sometimes, “having it all” leads our hearts away from God by distracting us, or worse, weaseling in even deeper and becoming an idol.
So sometimes, God lovingly sets a boundary.
Other times He withholds the good stuff to give us the best stuff.
Through “seasons of less” He develops depths of trust, faith, patience and contentment that we could not know otherwise.
This is the true treasure! This is where the deep blessing lies.
These are the things that hold value beyond this life!
So, yes, there is a blessedness in having the things of the world. But there is also a blessedness in not having them. What’s important is finding contentment wherever you are.
“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
Whether you have it all or not today, choose gratitude and recognize God’s goodness. Trust His wisdom, and thank Him for giving you exactly what you have!
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This is a great perspective and love it. Right now, we haven’t been paid since August and our little savings have been exhausted, and it is hard to here that God doesn’t create poverty, it is the way of the world. We have gone through hard times since the recession and that has taught us so much on how to get by with nothing. Please help me underatand. Sometimes it feels hopeless.
Julie– I am so sorry to hear that. I can’t even imagine how difficult that must be. I’m curious (not knowing your full story), up until now, looking back over your journey, have you felt that God has met your needs in a daily sense?
This is a fantastic article and I can totally relate to it! I grew up fairly privileged and I know God has allowed financial struggles as an adult to humble me and allow me to have empathy towards others. Thanks for sharing this article with us! It is on our FB schedule this week 🙂 Blessings!
Thanks Sammi! It’s so fun to hear how God is at work!
really, girl?! this is an outstanding post!! Did you write it just for me? You always and i mean always have the best and concise words without sounding preachy. God has truly given you this gift. God really uses you in my life to speak such truth that I need to hear! Thanks for writing this 🙂 love you, sweet friend!
Aw, thanks Michelle! The funny thing is, even though I know your story, I didn’t think about it when writing this. I was only thinking about my story. Now that I re-read it from your perspective, it’s cool to see how well it applies! It’s so fun to see how God uses things! Can’t wait to see your story unfold on your blog this year!
Thank you for these Katie! You are such a blessing to us all!
Thank you so much for the encouragement Helen! That means a lot.
I sooo needed this today! Thank you!
You are so welcome!
This is great! Since moving because of Tyler’s new job last summer and me choosing to stay home with Bentley instead of teaching, we are definitely in a season of less. But, it has allowed for major growth in our marriage.
That’s so cool to hear! I can TOTALLY relate.
My husband and I have come to realize that one of the biggest blessings of our marriage was getting our start at the height of the recession. God was certainly protecting us from our tendency towards materialism. We truly believe we would have been in a worse financial state had we gotten a good start to our careers after college. Now we continue to enjoy a life of simplicity not a life of acquiring wealth and possessions.
I tell my husband something similar all the time. I am so thankful we are not better off, because we have everything we need and our current financial status keeps me so grounded! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for this fabulous reminder! It really is valuable to be content instead of constantly wanting. There isn’t really happiness in wanting all the time.