To cross the bridge from selfishness to generosity, we will need ... the power of the indwelling Christ. In two beautiful passages, Miroslav Volf explains how Christians are “more-than-enough” people:
If we are indwelled by Christ, who became poor that we can become rich, we will be rich. No matter how little we have, we will be “more-than-enough” people.
... If we are not “more-than-enough” people, our wanting will always outpace our having, and we’ll end up perpetually exhausted and forever dissatisfied.
We are “more-than-enough” people not because of the size of our bank account or the number of our accomplishments, but because Christ dwells in us. Our value is immense, and our world is safe — safe for us to give and to sacrifice our resources.
Outside of the kingdom, we are “not-enough” people, always searching for our identity and happiness in material things; our “wanting will always outpace our having.” Volf describes the one indwelt by Christ as “a rich self”:
A rich self looks toward the future with trust. It gives rather than holding things back in fear of coming out too short, because it believes God’s promise that God will take care of it. Finite and endangered, a rich self still gives, because its life is “hidden with Christ” in the infinite, unassailable, and utterly generous God, the Lord of the present, the past, and the future.
The spiritually rich self is a “more-than-enough” person who is conscious of being indwelt by Christ. Such a person is able to cross the bridge from self-centeredness to generosity because there is no fear of coming out short. God is with us and for us and able to provide for us.
... God has an endless supply of resources — so the need to hang on to possessions decreases.... God is the real owner of all we have — so the need to hoard and protect it diminishes. Kingdom identity (I am one in whom Christ dwells) and kingdom awareness (I am in the strong and secure kingdom of God) are the keys to doing what Jesus calls us to do. With these we can learn how to become radically generous and to live extraordinary lives.
— From James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful Life: Putting on the Character of Christ
(This copyrighted material is reprinted with permission from the author.)