There are a few books that you'll read in your lifetime that will have a lasting impression and affect real change in your day-to-day living - Enough is one of them. While I read most books by Will Davis, Jr., this one spoke the loudest to me.
Most of us will go through life never coming face-to-face with real poverty - never knowing what it's like to not have enough. Most of us have been blessed with far beyond what we really need to survive, and yet, we spend so much time complaining about what we don't have and still have the nerve to ask for more. Enter Enough. Once you open the cover of this book, you better be ready for real life change. It will open your eyes to the world around you and make you see and appreciate all that God has given you. But it doesn't stop there - you will also start to see your resources, your income and your time as opportunities to bless and serve others. Have you ever wondered why God has given you more than enough? He expects us to be good stewards of our gifts and use them to serve those who have less than enough. After all, everything that we have is really God's - not our own.
In his book, Will redefines what "enough" actually is. He provides a healthy dose of perspective in making us examine our own resources in comparison to those of the rest of the world. And then he lowers the boom by making you ask yourself the harrowing question, "where does my treasure lie?" If you're like me, your monthly credit card statement probably reveals that you spend more time eating out and shopping than meeting the needs of those around you. Will goes out of his way to point out that there's nothing wrong with having more than enough - God has blessed you with those gifts. But how will you use them? Will you choose to buy a flashy car, keep up with the latest fashion trends or upgrade your living situation or will you put food on the table for a needy family, fund a mission trip or change the life of someone who really needs help? The possibilities are endless, and you'll get far more fulfillment from the latter.
I'll be honest: parts of this book are hard to read because you may realize that you're not living in accordance with God's will, and it's hard to want to live selflessly - it goes completely against our culture and way of life. But it's worth it. Enough has changed the way I view my financial situation, and I encourage everyone to take the challenge of living with less.
I really loved reading this book. Pastor Will Davis Jr. really applied the biblical principles of what is "enough" in a way that hit home and was practical in my daily life. I am truly grateful for what I have and even more inspired to share the extra. I highly recommend this book!
Enough shares common ancestry with Don't Waste Your Life and Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. These books challenge the American Dream and offer a more balanced alternative for Christians. Davis confronts our perceptions about having enough and our worldview about giving graciously. His call is not for monastic vows. He says,
Now don't panic. I'm not asking you to take a vow of poverty, and more importantly, the Bible doesn't either. I am asking you to consider the Bible's promises to those who willingly choose to live with less. I know it's counterintuitive [sic], but the Bible actually says you'll be richer if you scale back what you have. (p. 13)
This quotation also encapsulates an important truth he explores later in chapter seven "Barns." Davis explains what it means to be rich towards God (pp. 105-110). He focuses our eyes on eternity and our status as sons and daughters. This truth adds the necessary depth to the conversation. You cannot tell someone to suck up having less because they are rich in some ethereal sense. Our status as sons and daughters and our future inheritance in the new heavens and new earth are tangible.
He also argues for the necessity of suffering and sacrifice in chapter 10 "World-Class Christianity." Says Davis,
That's right, the pinnacle of Christian living to which we all must aspire isn't honor, but dishonor; not comfort, but discomfort; not fame, but obscurity. (p. 145)
He ends by making this practical. He admonishes us to give to our churches out of abundance and other ministries above our abundance. We cannot sacrifice the first for the second or visa versa. To do this requires sacrifice. It may mean cutting back going out to eat and selling stuff we don't need. He then advises us how to get ourselves in the right mindset of living with less to gracious give.
We must shout this message from the rooftops. Our churches are swelling with resources and yet there may not be a time in Christianity when there is such a disparity between the have and the have not's. People wallowing in their wealth and others barely hanging on for their lives. This should not be so, not in the church. Enough calls us to honestly evaluate our lifestyle. It doesn't mean we cannot enjoy what we have or that we shouldn't have money, but we shouldn't hoard the gifts God has graciously given us. Enough is enough.
I've been yearning for a simpler lifestyle, but have been foundering when it comes to attaining it. A little over a year ago I decided to get rid of at least one thing every day.
Do you know how easily that can go from six books to one empty vitamin bottle just so I could say I got rid of something that day?
I don't want to live with all this stuff in my house, but didn't really have a clue as to how to separate myself from it.
That's where this book come in. It all boils down to changing my thought processes. God has been using this book to open my eyes. When I really looked around what I thought was my enough, it turned out to be much more than enough.
Now I'm seeing ways to bless others with stuff I thought I needed. I just keep seeing more and more ways to turn all this stuff to enough rather than more than enough. Heading towards this simpler lifestyle is so freeing. It's bringing much more peace into my life.
Do yourself a favor and use this book to find out what really is enough.
What is enough? Do you have it? Where can you find it? Does it come in a box? What does it cost? Today's culture teaches us that we never have enough, and the number of people drowning in debt is proof that the world is winning the battle; however, when we finally realize that peace only comes from being content with what we have, grateful for the blessings God has provided and having compassion for those in need.
Will Davis, Jr., in his new book "Enough", challenges readers to put down their wallet, lay down their wants and search out ways to help those less fortunate. After all, having shelter over our heads, clothes on our backs and food on our tables should be enough for us as Christians. Having more usually involves time spent away from God and our families as we struggle to earn more money to pay for more stuff.
"Enough" will play with your comfort zone, threaten your lifestyle and challenge your beliefs. You will learn the difference between having enough and being gluttonous and greedy. If you let him, Davis will change your point of view and offer a way to find more by living with less. Delving deeper through the "for further reflection" questions will give you a deeper understanding of the lessons Davis seeks to teach in each chapter.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Publishing Group as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."