Do you have a scarcity mentality or an abundance mentality?
A scarcity mentality operates on the assumption that whatever is good in the world is rare, hard to find, and difficult to keep. Consequently, once you find a good thing, you must keep it to yourself, or others will take it from you.
Darwin’s theory of evolution is an example of the scarcity mentality at work. According to Darwin, animals fight over a limited supply of food and water. Whatever physical variations—the size of finch’s beak, for example, or the color of a moth’s wing—help an animal win that fight are passed down to the next generation. In such a way, the fittest survive at the expense of the weakest. A scarcity mentality always generates selfish behavior. Indeed, The Selfish Gene is the title of one of the most famous recent books on evolution. How revealing that title is!
By contrast, an abundance mentality operates on the assumption that goodness is like clean, fresh air. It is everywhere, readily available, and plentiful enough to share. The scarcity mentality breeds selfishness, but the abundance mentality creates room for generosity.
Every Christian should have an abundance mentality, for we have received God’s grace in superabundant measure. Consider Ephesians 1.3: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Verses 4–14 go on to detail the nature of those spiritual blessings. We’ll take a look at them tomorrow. But today, focus on verse 3; it tells us four things about the Christian abundance mentality.
First, it tells us that abundance is the result of God’s blessing. God “has blessed us…with every spiritual blessing.” Not many. Not some. Definitely not few. But every! If you are “in Christ,” you lack nothing, you have everything you need and more, and therefore you have plenty to share with others.
Second, verse three tells us that abundance is “heavenly” and “spiritual” before it is earthly and material. Verses 4–14 detail the nature of God’s blessings, focusing on God’s decision to save us from our sins. Our sin problem is our most fundamental problem. Solving it takes priority over other problems. But it is God’s ultimate intention “to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (verse 10).
Third, God gives us every blessing “in Christ.” His abundance mentality is on display in 2 Corinthians 8.9: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
Finally, verse 3 tells us that an abundance mentality generates worshipful behavior. Praise is the Christian’s native tongue. Have you ever visited Yosemite or the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls and been overwhelmed with wonder at the beauty of it all? Just so, worshipful wonder is the natural response to our Father’s gracious blessings.