The Lie of Enough
I think my ice cream eating habits reveal something about my character. Other than the fact that I really like ice cream.
WhenI was a kid, sometimes we’d go around the corner to McDonald’s and get hot fudge sundaes. I’d take a good long look at the cup before diving in, strategically plotting my hot fudge to ice cream ratio, and always start with spoonfuls of 90% ice cream, 10% hot fudge. I was sure that I would have to ration the hot fudge sparingly to have enough to make it through the whole sundae. And inevitably, I’d get to the end of the ice cream and wind up with a huge mound of hot fudge, way more than I could eat, at the bottom of the cup. There was always more than enough to last the entire sundae, but I never got to fully enjoy all of the hot fudge because I was too cautious in my calculations.
Now that my 8 year old metabolism is long gone I’ve switched over to rainbow sprinkles. (Although in the photo above, I splurged and went for both. Sometimes you have to follow Rule 15.) But I’m still stuck in my old pattern: 90% ice cream, 10% sprinkles to start…and then a whole heap of sprinkles that I can’t even finish left over at the end.
I never believe that I’ll have enough in the beginning, and then wind up with so much more than I need at the end.
I’ve noticed that this scarcity mentality doesn’t just apply to ice cream; it pervades my every day life, too. I don’t push as hard as I can at the beginning of a run because I’m afraid I won’t have enough left in the tank to finish at the end. I say no to spending time with a friend because I don’t think I’ll have enough time to finish everything I need to do if I say yes. I think twice about giving away too much money or too many possessions because I’m afraid I won’t have enough to meet my own needs.
But do you know always happens?
There’s always more than enough.
So what would my life look like if I didn’t hold back for fear of not having enough? What if I took Jesus at His word in Matthew 6?
25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
I’m going to find out, because I don’t want to reach the end of my life with more than enough. I don’t want to have anything left over – no amount of effort, ability, time, talent, money, or material possessions. I want to give it all away, knowing that the Lord will provide more than I need, and knowing that there is so much more joy and fulfillment found in generously giving than in fearfully hoarding.
What do you guys think? Have you ever been tempted to believe the Lie of Enough? Have you experienced God’s faithfulness when you sacrificed more than you thought you could and were given more than enough in return? I’d love to hear your stories!