Making Space for Generosity: Wk2

The Relentless Pursuit of More

The Allure of New Products
In a world driven by consumerism and the constant rollout of new products, it's easy to get caught up in the cycle of wanting more. Everett M. Rogers' "Diffusion of Innovations" theory categorizes us into five types of adopters: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards. As an Early Adopter myself, I understand the thrill of integrating the latest iPhone or innovation into my life. But does this relentless pursuit of more actually bring us lasting joy?

The Fleeting Nature of Material Joy
The initial excitement of acquiring new stuff often dissipates quickly. What once brought us happiness might even start causing stress as it becomes just another thing to manage. In our consumer and success-driven society, we're bred to seek instant gratification and joy through accumulating more stuff. But the truth is, this relentless pursuit leaves little space for experiencing genuine contentment.

The Cost of Accumulation
Have you ever owned a pool, a house, a car, or even a pet? Each comes with its own set of responsibilities and costs. The self-storage industry, covering an area the size of Las Vegas, stands as a testament to our difficulty in letting go of old stuff even as we acquire new things. This pursuit of more steals space from our minds, hearts, time, relationships, and even our capacity for generosity.

The Biblical Perspective: Matthew 6:19-21
Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, "Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."

Our Partnership Campaign focuses on making space for generosity. It's hard to be generous when we're constantly bringing more and more stuff into our lives. Many of us are running out of space, both physically and emotionally. We need to limit the pull of "more" and foster the art of contentment.

Spiritual Exercise: Questions to Ponder
- Do you need stuff to make you happy?
- How much stuff do you need?
These questions help us create space, strive for balance and gratitude, and live with moderation, leading to contentment.

The Exit Door: Spiritual Contentment
Spiritual contentment is the exit door from the pursuit of more. Our society doesn't value contentment; it breeds discontentment. Jesus teaches that it's not your status in life that God values, but the way you live your life.

Learning Contentment: Philippians 4:11b-12
The Apostle Paul teaches us that contentment can be learned. With spiritual growth, we can learn to be content, creating more space in our lives for what truly matters.

Four Things to Make Space for Contentment
1. Don't Trade Self for Stuff: Mark 8:36-37 warns us about losing our soul in the pursuit of worldly gains.
2. Use Stuff, Don't Chase Stuff: The love of money and stuff can lead us astray, damaging our health and relationships.
3. Enjoy What Stuff You Have: Gratitude can fill our minds and hearts, fostering contentment.
4. Answer the Question: Ask yourself, "God, where do you want me to be in my giving?"

Conclusion: Making Space for What Truly Matters
We often live our lives under the mistaken understanding that our stuff and our lives belong to us. In reality, we are merely stewards of God's gifts. By focusing less on the relentless pursuit of more and more on spiritual contentment, we can make space for true joy, meaningful relationships, and generous living.

Whether we like it or not, our pursuit of more is intrinsically tied to our levels of contentment and generosity. Let's strive to make space in our lives for what truly matters, learning to be content with what we have and generous with what we've been given.

May we all find the peace that comes from contentment and the joy that comes from generosity. Amen.