How Much Is Enough?



Our new washing machine was delivered this week. We bought it online at CoolBlue. This store has known explosive growth. Started in 1999 by three students, CoolBlue now has sales of over one and a half billion euros! The CEO, Pieter Zwart, was interviewed (wearing a cool blue shirt), and the millionaire was asked, “What does money mean to you?” His reply; “I thought that life would be more interesting with money than without. Well, that’s partly true. It’s just that the law of diminishing returns comes into play. Once you have reached a certain level, it is no longer important how much more money you have. It is so difficult to turn money into enjoyment-return! To be happy and have money do not necessarily go together.”

It is great to be able to reach a stage, when I can say,” This is enough,” and that stage can be reached sooner then we all think! Paul wrote to Timothy, “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” (1 Timothy 6:8) and John said to some curious Roman soldiers, “Be content with your pay.” (Luke 3:14)

The law of diminishing returns is an economic law which we seem to have forgotten in our household economics. After you reach a certain level of spending, extra spending will not bring much extra return. The point at which this happens is determined by answering the question, “How much is enough?”


Agur, a little known writer of proverbs in the Bible, wrote a wonderful prayer.

” Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”

Basically, he is asking God to reveal to him ‘what is needful’ for him. That, then, will be enough for him. Agur says that if he has more, then he will think he doesn’t need God any more. On the other hand, Agur, says to God, “if I do not have enough, then I will be tempted to cut corners and find dishonest ways of getting what I need.”

Can you earnestly pray, as Jesus taught us, “Give me today my daily bread?” That is, “Lord please provide enough for what I need for life?” I have learned to live on ‘enough’ for many years. Sometimes I have had more and been able to bless others with it; but I have never been let down by God and had not enough!

A spending plan can help to answer the question. Consider making a new plan, with your partners and in prayer, asking God, “how much is enough for my situation and responsibilities?”

Read an extract on "How Much Is Enough?" of Peter's talk at the 2016 European Economic Summit.


Read here.

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