Her Views · On Being Christian

Scarcity Thinking

I have a confession to make. It’s been two weeks since I was laid off my job, and I’ve done pretty well at keeping busy, being productive, working the internet employment sites. But a couple of days ago, I did absolutely nothing. I ate potato chips and watched reality shows on TV all day (and I hate reality TV). I was useless and good for nothing. I wallowed.

The next day I talked it over with God. And somewhere in the conversation, my mind wandered off and remembered that I used to volunteer at a certain agency in my area and they hadn’t contacted me in awhile and maybe I should check to make sure I was still on the volunteer roster. And what the heck, since I have some free time on my hands, maybe see if they need any help in the next week or two. Sorry God… where were we?

But this was a grace from God. It was an answer, and a nudge… instead of wallowing, get out and do something. Instead of frantically searching for the next thing for myself, get out and serve someone else. The answer in hard times is not to cling, it’s to give. Fear makes us clench our fists and hold on even tighter to what little we have. It’s an attitude of scarcity.

The secular world almost understands this better than we do, recognizing a law of abundance in the universe. As Christians, we actually know the God of the “abundant” universe, and have a personal relationship with him. Do you see how ridiculous scarcity thinking is in His context? In these tough economic times, are you tithing? Are you willing even to be generous? It’s crazy and a little reckless and it’s the only way to dare God.

And he seems eager for the challenge. “Go ahead,” he says. “Dare me. See if I don’t blow the lid off the abundant universe!” Giving and serving in times when we don’t have enough is one way to challenge God. Rather than clinging tightly to the little you have and begging him to please give you more, maybe faith is about giving it up and letting it go, and challenging him – daring him – to provide.

3 thoughts on “Scarcity Thinking

  1. I know people who are tithing and struggling financially. God provides, and I’ve never gone hungry or something like that, but I see some Christians who expect God to provide at a relatively affluent, Orange County level.

    It’s great that you have a place to volunteer. I have an unpredictable freelance schedule, and I would love to find a place where I could just drop in and help when I have spare time.

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    1. You clarify an excellent point. God only promises to meet our needs – enough for today – and that can be hard to accept when you’re used to living in a culture that for the most part has had MORE than enough, even to consumer excess. And, if we’re honest, many of us squandered that excess during the “fat” years, instead of being wise stewards & saving for the lean years…

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