I recently blogged asking the question where I our Christian lives (both individually and corporately) is there the extravagance of God made manifest through our outrageous acts of Kingdom generosity?
Today I want to think of the scarcity complex which I believe is epidemic within our culture and society.
We live in a such a frenetic and consumerist world that we feel we inadequate and I’ll equipped as we believe we never had enough to live the life we are called to and to truly be the Kingdom people we were intended to be.
There is not enough of us…
We can afford it…
I haven’t got time…
We haven’t the resources…
I haven’t got the experience…
The scarcity mindset runs on fear, it grinds us to a halt and causes paralysis.
The scarcity mindset wants a hero to come and make it all right for us all.
The problem primarily with this mindset it refuses to do what we can, where we are, with what we have got. God asks Moses “what do you have in your hand?” -A stick, clearly not enough, but with God it was more than abundantly enough!
The truth is we will never have enough or be ready and able with all we need, Jesus didn’t say to the fishermen come and follow when the time is right and everything is in order and you are ready to go.
The scarcity mindset would have binned the five loaves and two fish and sent the give thousand away hungry.
The scarcity mindset would have the widow keep her mite for a rainy day.
The scarcity mindset would see Gideon’s army running for the hills rather than running into battle.
The scarcity mindset would not be able to reverse the fall with coming as a vulnerable baby, born in poverty in a remote corner of an occupied and oppressed territory.
This mythical belief refuses be transformed by the hope of the Kingdom and the good news of Jesus Christ, as it is a defeatist, pessimistic and faithless worldview that refuses to acknowledge the power or the character of the almighty.
Scripture reminds us of God’s all sufficiency.
St. Paul says “I can do all things through him who strengthens me!”
The scarcity mindset causes us to cling on for control as it feels like we are looking everything, we think everything is running out and we panic, and as we panic we become more and more imprisoned by the stronghold of this deception.
Paradoxically the way out of the scarcity mindset is to learn peace and contentment in what we have and who we are -not giving Satan a foothold! Incredibly countercultural!
The scarcity mindset is rebuffed when we live in generosity and dwell not in our poverty but in thankfulness at God’s abundance (lessons we can learn from the two thirds world). Embracing Isaiah 61 living that swaps despair for joy.
The poverty deception has very little to do with the reality, often issues of time, money and energy is more to do with our perception than reality, pray that God shows us our lives with his eyes.
The greatest poverty I believe is not to do with where we have it rather with our hearts and our heads, do we have a poverty of faith and I imagination? Have we tended the fire with our hearts? Or have we allowed cynicism, jadedness and fear take mastery of our inner-most being?
Come back to the Saviour who gave it all for us, and ask him to banish from our souls the permissive paranoia that rugby tackles so many Christians and Churches and extinguishes the Kingdoms hopes and dreams that God has placed within each one of us.