Satisfaction in Abundance by Tyler Thayer
October 23, 2008, 8:00 am
Filed under: Thought Initiative | Tags: , , , , , , ,

by Tyler Thayer

The previous post about the Bugatti Veyron (which by the way, I would love to drive one day) really got me thinking:  If we were to find total satisfaction in Christ, how much could you spend on a purchase before it became sinful and distracting, or after you achieve total satisfaction is everything free game?  God wants us to live life in abundance, right?

In 2006, ABC news did an article on The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2006.  This list included some of the most wealthy and powerful people in the world; most of whom prized themselves on material possessions. One of the 10 most fascinating people was Joel Osteen, Senior Pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church.  In the interview with Barbra Walters this is one of the last things Osteen is quoted saying:

“I think the word rich is all relative,” Osteen said. “I think down and deep in our hearts, we believe that God does want us to live the abundant life that we can. To me, prosperity is health, good relationships … and money, of course, is part of it.”

So can the Christian find satisfaction in the abundant life that God wants us to live?  And does that abundant life refer to prosperity?  And prosperity to money?

In discussing 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, John Piper points out that as Christians we are involved with the market place and that we do buy things, but we do it as if we are not.

4. “Let those who buy [do so] as though they had no goods.Let Christians keep on buying while this age lasts. Christianity is not withdrawal from business. We are involved, but as though not involved. Business simply does not have the weight in our hearts that it has for many. All our getting and all our having in this world is getting and having things that are not ultimately important. Our car, our house, our books, our computers, our heirlooms-we possess them with a loose grip. If they are taken away, we say that in a sense we did not have them. We are not here to possess. We are here to lay up treasures in heaven.

“This world matters. But it is not ultimate. It is the stage for living in such a way to show that this world is not our God, but that Christ is our God. It is the stage for using the world to show that Christ is more precious than the world.”

If we truly believe and preach that Christ and him crucified is our source of total satisfaction, does buying a big house and an expensive car point to Christ?  Is there a difference between a worldly man who desires these things and a Christian man who desires these things?


4 Comments so far
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Really the true question to be asked is would a man with a truly changed heart really desire these things? I think the answer is no. A man completely satisfied in Christ would have no desire for these things at all. He would be totally captivated by Jesus Christ, and there would be no room left for the desires of a Bugatti.

So in essences the abundance in life mentioned above in the title of this post would really be Christ, not health and wealth. Prosperity would be the mind and heart that desires the things of heaven and who has an abundance of the love of Christ in his(or her) life.

So to me the new question becomes, can we ever attain this? Can we ever be so satisfied with the love of Christ that we desire nothing at all of this world? If yes, why do we still buy Bugattis? If no, is that why Paul writes that we still buy, because he understood that we would never attain complete satisfaction and thus we should strive for an attitude?

Comment by Tyler Thayer

The cliché that everyone uses when answring a question like this is, “use your money in a way that glorifies God.” I don’t think we’ve ever gone into that question.

Take the house for example. You may desire it to shelter the “worthy poor” or you have a big family to provide for. Osteen takes this and thinks that God provides these types of things because they are the ultimate/great sources of joy in and of themselves. But if we look at health, wealth and prosperity as tools insteas of idols, the desire becomes godly.

Comment by David Wells

Tyler, did you respond first to your own post? Did you want to continue the post but not want to take up room on the blog?

Sorry to distract from the challenging and provoking questions, that was just the first thing that I noticed!!!

Comment by Caleb H.

lol…I waited a few hours. I had to think about the questions before I could answer them…

Comment by Tyler Thayer

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