Satisfied: Discovering Contentment in a World of Consumption by Jeff Manion is a manifesto about living a life that is within your means. He proposes that whether you’re drowning in debt, barely making even or able to deposit money into savings there is a financial plan for the way that you can worship God.
He begins by showing you that you will never find your contentment in stuff. There is nothing that you can buy that will make you happier or draw you closer to God. So, if getting a bigger house, cars, and all the stuff that we imagine that we deserve won’t make us happier, how are we supposed to learn contentment?
For Manion, the answer is simple. We should give our money to the church and to other organizations that fund God’s work. When we give our money, we take the focus off of ourselves and put it onto others and onto God. It’s hard to play the comparison game when your focus (and even your life) are not your own.
This is a great answer for those who have plenty of money in the bank, but what about those of us who are barely making even? Manion’s answer is simple. Faith. Just as the ravens fed Elijah, God will give us our daily bread. In fact, God delights in giving and providing for those who step out in faith to serve him.
A couple of years ago, I would never have believed Manion. However, as I’ve seen this principal in my own life, I have to agree with him. The more you rely on God, the more he shows up to bless you. He’s never let me down.
Sometimes, I fall into a trap that Manion highlights in his book. It’s the trap of comparison. We’re happy with our blessings until we see other people who seem to have so much more than we do. Then, the satisfaction and blessing of our own life fades as we feel discontent and even anger at the one that we feel has let us down.
The only cure for that kind of comparison is to focus just on yourself and are your needs met. Are you able to give to others? Do you have a house? A car? Clothes to wear? Food to eat? Then, you are abundantly blessed.
This slight volume is a wonderful reminder that faith in God and focusing less on comparing our blessings to the blessings of others is a remedy for the consumerism that runs rampant in this world.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through the Booklook Bloggers program. My opinions are my own.