I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
— Jesus Christ, Jn. 10: 10
“I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
— Saint Paul, Phil. 4: 11-13
“Here [in the West] you have a different kind of poverty—a poverty of the spirit, of loneliness, of being unwanted, and that is the worst disease in the world today, not tuberculosis or leprosy.”
— Mother Theresa
“A man is rich according to the things he can afford to let alone.”
“We are people called to live toward God’s vision of reconciliation through Christ Jesus. This reconciled world, or ‘new heaven and earth,’ includes . . . a creation where diversity is celebrated as a gift, rather than resisted and destroyed; where loving relationships are supremely valued and the resources of the world are shared equitably and justly; where all persons know their worth and value as children of God and who seek the well-being of God’s creation above their own greed.
“It is a world where we live out of a theology of ‘enough’ . . . a theology that allows us to move away from the gods of consumption and material need. In living out a theology of enough we will no longer expend our physical resources in consumption and our emotional resources in worrying over status. Our security and sense of well-being will be defined in relationship to God, not by our possession.
“While Christ does not seek for any of us to be without basic necessities, a simplified life will move us away from the expectations and injustices of affluent living. Abudant living is a life of greater simplicity, of more responsible use of resources and of a deeper faith.”
— From the United Methodist Church’s 1996 statement “God’s Vision of Abundant Living”
“Perhaps for affluent Christians the deepest level of response to the awareness of limits is the recognition that we cannot free ourselves of guilt. We are caught in a destructive system, and we find that even our will to refuse to identify with that system is mixed with the desire to enjoy its fruits. None of us is innocent, either in intention or behavior. At most we ask that we may be helped to open ourselves to re-creation by God, but we also depend on grace in another sense. It is only because we know ourselves accepted in our sinfulness that we can laugh at our own pretenses, live with a measure of joy in the midst of our halfheartedness, and risk transformation into a new creation.”
— United Methodist theologian John B. Cobb Jr.