There is a temptation to always think with a scarcity mindset. I have so little and if I give any of it away I will not have enough to go around. The thinking of our day seems to be win-lose rather than win-win. This is not only the attitude in the world, but it is also, in fact, the attitude in the church. Why is this so? There is something in the human spirit, that seemingly by default reverts to a scarcity mindset. There are of course several other factors at work, but basically, there is a fear that if I am generous, personally, professionally and even with the church there will not be enough left for me to survive.
For some the thinking is “that there is only so much to go around.” If I give this away, who will help me when I need something. The pie is only so big and if I give you a piece there will be nothing left for me.
In Matthew 14: there is a story of Jesus feeding the 5000. Jesus had been teaching and healing throughout the day and the disciples knowing that people were hungry went to Jesus and said: “it is getting late and we are in a remote place, Jesus send the people away we have no food to give them.” Jesus’ answer had to be startling to the disciples, “They don’t need to go away you give them something to eat.” The disciples took a quick inventory and discovered that one boy had brought a lunch, no doubt prepared by his mom. The lunch contained five small loaves and two tiny fish. How would that ever be enough to feed this multitude? Giving the lunch to Jesus, He blessed it and broke it and multiplied the lunch and everyone in the crowd not only ate but ate until they were satisfied. There were twelve baskets of leftovers after everyone had eaten? Enough for each disciple to take a basket home.
The disciples believed they did not have enough, enough food or enough resources to feed the crowd. Jesus asked what do you have? He did not criticize them when they only came up with a little boys lunch. Jesus just requested what do you have? He blessed, broke and multiplied it to meet the need.
It is easy in recounting the miracle to forget about the little boy and his lunch. What would have happened had he said, “there is only so much to go around.” “What’s mine is mine and I am going to keep it.” The need would not have been met if he had displayed the attitude of most people.
The choice is quite simple and stark: I can live with a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset. I can cling to my lunch or I can give my life away and watch what the Lord can do, when he blesses and breaks and multiplies the gift of my life. The times in my life when I have struggled has often been at the point: Am I going to trust my little, or am I am going to trust God!
How many of our problems result from a scarcity mindset. People go around acting as if what they have is all there is, and they must cling to their resources, time and energy because when this is gone it is over. God’s Word declares: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”. (Phil:4:9)
Trust God, He can multiply your talent, resources and efforts. Either we believe His Word and trust Him to multiply what we possess to meet the needs of our lives and will use us to bless others, or we can cling to our little and trust ourseves alone.
Which describes you today? A scarcity mindset or abundance mindset? Do not hold your little lunch too tightly.