Friday, June 3, 2011

Learning to be Content with Plenty

One of the tensions about living in a developing country, where the cycle of poverty is tremendous, is struggling with the guilt of having above and beyond our share of 'daily bread'. Our needs (and wants) are more than covered and that creates a struggle as we drive through the streets of Managua and see the reality of poverty. Honestly, it is hard not to feel guilty. Yet, in part, this struggle is good. It helps to keep my coveting and selfishness in check. Seeing 'poverty' on a daily basis certainly makes us evaulate our stewardship (after all, God has asked us to be good stewards of the resources He has provided). However, I don't think feeling guilty for being blessed is godly. A wiser missionary friend of mine reminded me this week of Paul's words to the Philippians.

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. Philippians 4:12

I've always focused on the part of that verse that speaks to being content in "want" rather than the being content with "plenty". God has provided for us abundently...we have 'plenty'...especially in comparison to the people around us. So, I think the struggle should be in, not feeling guilty for being blessed, but rather--how will I use that blessing to bless others? Handouts aren't necessarily helpful...we need to seek the wisdom of God in discovering how He wants to provide for the needs of others through His gift of plenty.

posted by bethany