Enough is enough. Eight is enough.
You are more than enough.
Enough of this!
If you repeat that word several times, it begins to look strange and foreign and starts to lose all meaning. It's too much.
Half of spiritual health is embracing the struggles that challenge us, that pierce our foundation and drain our soul's energy and life. We fall down chasing Christ, tripping over our own shoelaces that are so intricately tied together.
My struggles are with enough. As a person who wrestles with compulsive behaviors, rooted at the deepest parts of who I am, the depths from which God tends to rescue me are oriented around enough.
Compulsion fights against enough because there is always one more taste, one more game, one more distraction, one more hobby to throw yourself into. There is always one more way to satisfy the demands of our bodies, one more way to avoid pain by slathering it over with substances or foods.
In other words, it is a vicious cage match pitting "one more" against "enough."
True, we can get to the point of wanting "one more" insight from God, "one more" opportunity to serve, "one more" Bible study or religious activity that on the surface seems to be right and holy and spiritually healthy.
However, any good AA member would be able to tell you about the phenomenon of "switching bartenders" - trading one compulsion for another, rinse and repeat.
There is such a thing as compulsive Christianity - a spiritual gluttony that makes a Christ out of compulsion instead of living in the soul-nourishing world of enough.
I believe in enough. Why? Because enough saves marriages. Enough eliminates debt. Enough stands guard over our "hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4). Enough, that basic element of rootedness and contentment, reminds us that we are not Christ but instead are called to become like Christ.
So we have to engage what I think is the most interesting discipleship question: Was Jesus content? Did He live a life of "enough"?
I certainly don't want to go into a soapbox about materialism, instant gratification, and our culture of "I get mine, you get yours" but honestly they are present and destructive foes. Plus, consider this:
All spiritual disciplines, either in the life of Jesus or throughout the history of the early church, are purposefully and directly aligned against compulsion.
Fasting is an engine of contentment - our body needs to be told "enough."
Sabbath is an engine of contentment - our work and effort needs to hit a point of "enough."
Prayer is an engine of contentment - "enough" comes when we live desperately seeking provision from God.
I believe in enough because it has saved my marriage. It has renovated the way I see the world and what I am "owed." When you have enough you don't angrily hold grudges against people who "take" what is "yours."
Enough is teaching me to be generous, to know my needs are met not because I'm snatching and grabbing but because I dwell in a Kingdom where the King will take care of me and has said, "...everything I have is yours." (Luke 15:31, NIV)
Have you found the moment of enough? That deep sweetness that comes in knowing you are cared for, loved, provided for, and protected in all the ways you need (note: you may have a different opinion about what you "need"... that's a different blog post)?
Today, I encourage you to make a list with three columns. In Column 1 put your basic needs - food, shelter, etc. In Column 2 put the things that add value and enjoyment to your life - things you use regularly to find joy in life and that gives life back to you - golf clubs, board games, a bike, etc. In Column 3 put everything that you find in your life that does not fit in either Column 1 or Column 2. And then, do this:
Ruthlessly eliminate everything in Column 3 from your life. Columns 1 and 2 are the starting ground for "enough." Column 3 will kill your soul in the long run.
Do this prayerfully, engaging with God on each item and asking: Do I need this? Does this give me the life you have for me? Enough will come, and trust me, you won't want it to leave. Ever. It is the Kingdom of God. (Matt. 6:33)