How Do We Know How Much Stuff is Enough? - Radical

How Do We Know How Much Stuff is Enough?

In a world that is always seeking more, how can we be content? How much is too much? These questions point to godly contentment through Christ. In this video, Pastor David Platt encourages Christians to grow in contentment in light of God’s glory.

  1. Godliness with Contentment
  2. Glorifying Christ

Sometimes people ask me like, well, how much stuff when it comes to possessions, how much stuff is too much stuff? And there, again, so many of these things, there’s no easy answer here, but even the question can be unhealthy and healthy at the same time. It can be unhealthy if it’s saying, okay, I just want to get to the level where now I can check that box off and move on, which is oftentimes how people ask it.

Okay? I want to ease my conscience by getting to this point and then I can move on. As opposed to a healthy way to ask that is to say, okay, I see a world of urgent, spiritual and physical need all around me, even right around me. And I know that God’s given me much and He’s given it to me for His glory in this world of urgent, spiritual, and physical need around me. So how can I begin to limit my consumption of more and more and more stuff in this world?

How Much Stuff is Enough?

And first Timothy 6 is such a good text for this: godliness with contentment is great gain. So how can I live in godliness with contentment in a world that always says more, more, bigger, better get more stuff? No, no. Godliness with contentment. And that’s where and I mentioned this in Radical, and this is where Heather and I, and we talk about this in the church here, that it’s probably wise to establish a level at which you or your family is going to live that’s reasonable. A godliness with contentment. Paul talks about having food and clothing. And so I mean, essential things.

Now, the reality is as long as we live in this culture, we’re going to have more than essentials. Like a bed, for example, is not essential. There are people around the world who sleep and they don’t have beds, but we’ve got a bed, we sleep on a bed at night, and we’re okay with that. And so there are things… So you go through a process where you say, okay, what’s a good level first Timothy 6 to live at? And then you say, Lord, anything that you entrust us above that, we just from the very beginning say, we’ll give it away for your glory. And so you bring that down to a level of contentment. And then now, that’s a good, I think can be a really healthy thing to walk through and to see how God uses that and entrust things to you.

How Can I Glorify Christ With My Stuff?

And then you resist this temptation to say, okay, let’s add this and add this and add this. And all of a sudden you start thinking, well, to use an extreme, a million dollar salary necessitates a million dollar lifestyle. No, not true. There’s a way to live at another level and then free up anything else the Lord gives you above that to give away. And for some, that may be a lot. From some, that may not be as much. But to say, how can I be content and even make sacrifices in my life to give away for the glory of Christ? That’s just driven by the gospel, which what we talk about all the time, or think about Radicals. Second Corinthians, chapter 8, 9. That can be a really, really healthy thing. It can free up generous giving for the glory of God in all nations.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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