Saturday, May 4, 2013

Learning to say "Enough"

Enough, Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity, www.abingdonpress.com is not a new book, but it has been recently revised and updated by author Adam Hamilton, who is eager that each of us learn how the Bible’s wisdom will help us to find and use "prudent financial practices" for a life filled with joy and contentment.

In the ongoing financial crises we, our nation, and the world, seem to be caught in, that sounds impossible, doesn’t it? But Hamilton has some excellent ideas and suggestions that should help each one who reads his book and applies his ideas to their own situations.
 
Hamilton, who is senior pastor of a United Methodist church in Kansas, suggests that, with God’s help, we can simplify our lives. We can change our longings for "more" and "better," and we can learn to be content with what God gives us. Many pages include a quote from a well-known person or from the Scriptures, meant to encourage us as we think through Hamilton's ideas.
 
The Shakers are remembered as those who pointed out the importance of "simple gifts," in one of their hymns and Hamilton uses it to focus on how we might "simplify our lives, enjoy what we have, give more generously, and use our money and possessions" in the ways God intends. A challenge, yes, but the results may bring much joy into the lives of those who do it.
 
Hamilton means his book to be a guide and a source of inspiration and encouragement. He calls for readers to set goals and make plans. He offers lists, such as "six financial planning principles," "four keys to cultivating contentment," "five steps for simplifying your life." And he provides a closing page for each chapter that includes Scripture references, asking readers to apply each to his/her own situation. He discusses the importance of tithing on one’s income and how to do it, and the results that will come as we learn to give: contentment and joy.
 
His last chapter is on overcoming fear. We all experience fears of one kind or another and he offers "three keys to overcoming fear." And finally, Hamilton provides tools and tips on financial management, including ideas for credit card pay-off strategies. Highly recommended.
 
—Lois Sibley