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Why Do We Have So Much? - Ramblings and Photos
Why Do We Have So Much?
This past weekend, my church continued our new series “Rich People Syndrome,” by getting us to think about why we have so much. If you’re interested in seeing/listening to the original message, click HERE.

Interestingly enough, this is a message that my husband and I have been reflecting on all week. In fact, this week, my husband dropped his car off at the shop for what we feared would cost several thousand dollars. He received a call today that the repair would only cost $500. While thankful, we had to ask ourselves what the average person…living paycheck to paycheck…does when they’re met with that sort of bill? Just moments later, he was pulled over for something silly – silly or not, there’s definitely a fine. A few hours later, we were on our way home when we hit a deer. Not only did we lose a life, but we’ve got the financial cost of our deductible…and probably an increase in our insurance policy. Again – how does the average person/family handle these types of unexpected expenses…and why have we been blessed with enough to be able to deal? 

I tell you this story because if God wanted our money, he would just take it. But he sees our money as a resource to help build his kingdom. Our money is also a test of our loyalty. As you’ll recall in Luke 16:13, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” I do believe that my husband and I have done a good job of saving our money. We don’t live above our means, but if we dwell on the money that we’re losing as a result of these recent experiences rather than being thankful that we have even have the resources, we’ve missed the point. God never throws us more than we can handle. 

To that point, many people find themselves carrying financial burdens that are almost too much to bear – and in some cases, to no fault of their own. I’ve read stories of families who were faced with health-related issues that literally bankrupt them. In times like these, we become extra spiritual. We’re never afraid to ask for help in those times of need. On the other hand, so many people find themselves increasing their lifestyle as they increase their income…and as a result, increasing financial pressure. It’s not a “need” problem…it’s a “want” problem…perhaps even a “greed” problem. In a culture that teaches us to keep asking, “why don’t I have more,” shouldn’t we be asking “why do I have so much?” When we seem to have enough, we hardly stop to give praise…we just ask for more.
So What ScriptureConsider the parable of the rich fool (click HERE). In the story, a rich farmer has excess crop…so much so that he runs out of storage room. Rather than give away some of the excess, he decides to tear down his barns and build bigger barns. With this news (Luke 12:20-21), “God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Our lives do not consist of an abundance of possessions. If I relate this back to yesterday’s situation, I feel like this scripture hit us square between the eyes. Lesson learned. 

If we have extra, it is not so we can increase our lifestyle…it is so we can be rich towards God. How do we do that? 
GIVE (in church we’re often told to give 10% – that’s typically a guideline, but we can always give more), SAVE (if you don’t have a savings account, start one – direct deposits are a great way to go so you never see the money to begin with) and LIVE ON THE REST.
If there’s extra, we should be taking a step back and asking if there’s a need we can answer. If we find that we can’t follow the above formula, then perhaps we should scale back…that may mean selling some things on eBay or Craig’s List so we can go back to living within our means.

With that said, why do YOU think we have so much? 

    This is a really great post.
    I really enjoy reading these weekly posts that you do.

    Awesome post. I love reading anything that really makes me thing about where I am in my relationship with God and the world. Thank you!

    Absolutely wonderful and timely post! It is very easy to get caught up in the trap of more, better, bigger…we have been scaling down in our house for a while now, and still have much more to do. Thanks for the message today, Ashley. I am still pondering your question…

    Fantastic post! This is definitely what I needed to hear today as we are deciding on what to include/not include on our new build. I REALLY needed this today, Ashley! Thanks!

    I really enjoyed reading this- My husband and I struggle with the fact that I cannot be a SAHM, and we wish we made more money- but this was such a good reminder that it isn’t mine to begin with, and I have more than enough. He is the great Provider.

    Thank you so much for this post. My husband and I have been struggling to figure out our budget lately. We are making okay money and our bills are getting paid but we have quite a bit of debt as well. We have an old car and only one vehicle between the two of us and with baby #2 on the way we have been toying with the idea of getting a bigger second vehicle which would give us less at the end than we have now. Do we need this vehicle? I am not sure, it would help us out a lot but I am sure we could get by for the time being without it.

    It is hard in today’s society to just live within your means and live the way God would want us to. something I need to strive better to do. I often look at the nice clothes of others or the nicely decorated houses and want it for myself when I know I don’t need it.

    Thanks for putting it all back into perspective. When I am gone those things will be nothing and it will all have been for a waste.

    wonderful post! this has come at such a great time for us!! thank you for sharing!

    I absolutely agree…God gives us financial resources to use for His work. …and then there’s society and the media which screams at us that our worth is directly measured by what we have. I often wonder why God blessed us with so much…but have yet to come up with a good answer.

    Thank you for this reminder. Blessings!

    Oh mama!I so agree. At the same time I could learn SO much from this! Great post, Ashley!

    Great post.

    Just wanted to say – glad you weren’t hurt when you hit that deer! Jeff hit a deer a couple years ago that totaled his car, and thankfully he wasn’t hurt. Then 9 days later, in the car provided by our insurance company, on a different road… he hit another deer on the way to work and totaled that car as well. Yep. Wasn’t hurt in that one, either!

    What a beautifully written piece! Perfect timing actually. I need to show this to someone dear to me. Thank you!!

    x Aliya

    What an awesome message. Kenny and I took a financial class at church last sunday. it was really great. I am sooo tired of having/wanting so much. I want to live a simple and less stuff lifestyle but it is so hard to fight the urge. Thanks for sharing.