Are You Imprisoned by Abundance?
Have you ever looked around at American culture and noticed how much we truly have? From grocery store shelves to transportation to technology, our choices seem endless. Secular education is available to all, and jobs exist in fields I would never have imagined. Yet, in all this overabundance we are dissatisfied.
The Struggle with Overabundance
Someone else always has a bigger income or a nicer house or more popular clothes. Women, especially moms, exist in a pressure cooker of expectations. We are expected to work outside the home because we are told that success means having more and better than everyone else, while at the same time we are expected to create the perfect home, raise perfect children, and maintain a perfect marriage.
Men are maligned and browbeaten if they cannot or do not enter a field of work that carries status, privilege, and opulence. While at the same time they are bombarded by the attitude that men are too stupid to be good for anything else.
Children are pressured at younger and younger ages to succeed in education and are taught from the cradle that they are entitled to wealth, yet are considered to be incapable of learning and given fewer and fewer opportunities of trying.
And, all the while the abundance we strive so hard to obtain is continually used up in the pursuit of even more.
Psalm 17 records David’s plea for deliverance from the wicked that surround him. He describes the wicked as those who are sated with the world’s treasures to the point that they have excess to leave to their children, however, he is not condemning wealth itself. We find the true condemnation of these people in verse 10: they are imprisoned by abundance.
“They have closed up their fat hearts; With their mouths they speak proudly.” – Psalm 17:10 NKJV
I know I find it very easy to be caught up in such pursuits. I feel guilty when I cannot give my husband or my children something that they want or that others have. I feel pressure to be and do more in order to have more. I feel a measure of frustration that my house is not as large or as beautiful as someone else’s house.
I begin to feel inadequate because there is simply not enough time or resources for me to control and manage everything myself, and angry that my efforts only lead to more failure. I become imprisoned in walls of doubt and bars of discontent.
David felt the same pressure; he wrote that those who had chosen this prison surrounded and stalked him like a lion hunting its prey. Like a lion, discontent sneaks up on us unseen, isolating and weakening us until we are easily overtaken.
“They have now surrounded us in our steps; They have set their eyes, crouching down to the earth, 12 As a lion is eager to tear his prey, And like a young lion lurking in secret places.” – Psalm 17:11,12 NKJV.
How to Overcome the Temptation for Overabundance
To avoid it David sought release in the Word of God. He prayed for help, sure that in spite of his mistakes God had already found his priorities to be those of an honest, balanced, righteous life.
He trusted in God to be enough.
As a Christian, I must trust God to be enough. His Word commands me to work. As a woman, my work is very specifically defined as being a keeper at home, a supporter of my husband, and a nurturer of my children (should I be so blessed as to have those things).
In absence of those blessings I, as any other individual must apply myself to something to keep my hands and mind from idleness. Nowhere does God’s Word command a certain outcome from my work. In fact, He repeatedly says that if I live according to His Will, He provides for me what is needed. In other words, I will not lack the basic necessities of life itself.
Pursuing material success may result in everything I desire, but as David reminded himself in the Psalm, that is all I will have achieved, and it will never be enough.
Like David, I can remain free by allowing God to be enough. In fact, if I am willing to be nothing more or less than his reflection, I will have more than enough. I will be filled to overflowing with an abundance that is never spent. My children and those around me will also be filled, but with a greater inheritance than any physical treasure, I could amass.
Like David, I will awake every day in peace beholding the face of God.
Today’s post is brought to you by guest author,
Heather is a stay at home/homeschooling mom to five children. She and her husband work and worship with a small group of Christians in north central Mississippi. She strives to instill in her children a deep and abiding relationship with God, both in word and by example. Her earthly interests include books, sewing, and writing.
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