Some years ago while my husband and I were driving along the conversation which had been light, turned to something serious when he made the comment: “How much is enough?”
Enough means, well, what does it mean? When I have the cup full to the spilling point, it is enough. When the water pressure allows the water to flow generously without peeling paint, the pressure is enough. When it comes to eating, some people do not know when enough is, well, enough. Eating more than a person needs is called gluttony. The dieter’s secret knows when enough is, well, sufficient.
When I sifted my way through these comments, Bob was really getting at the subject of money. His observation was that some people work long hours for more money than they actually need. His question regarding enough was limited to a quantity in the individual mind. Money management is a tricky business.
Genesis 31-33 is an account of both Jacob and Esau in their adult years. They split ways after Isaac granted the birthright to Jacob. Esau was born first and even though he had given the birthright away foolishly earlier, now he felt cheated. Rebecca feared for Jacob’s life and sent him north to Haran to live with her brother. Esau left Hebron and made his own way south to Edom. He also acquired considerable wealth according to chapter 36:7. Approximately 25 years later, the brothers meet. Both are prosperous men. Jacob feels as if he needs to appease his brother by giving him a generous gift, and Esau responds with the reply, “I have enough.” (33:9). Jacob urged him further and declares that God had dealt graciously with him; please accept the gift, and Esau once again declares, “I have enough.” When Jacob urged him one more time, Esau took it.
Those words haunted me because I remembered so well the conversation with my husband. I distinctly remember saying that Paul told Timothy that with food and raiment to be content. (I Timothy 6:8) and that led to the question of contentment. I’m not sure we ever finished the conversation. However, I am happy to report that I am content. I have enough. Like Esau, if someone begs me to take something, I would also smile and say, “Thank you.”
Enough. In the presence of Jesus, my Shepherd, I have more than enough, my cup runneth over.