Abundance. It is a wonderful concept. Having more than enough of what we need. It seems to be a good thing to be rich in supply. We often hear that the only people who worry about money are those who don’t have enough of it. Having “more than an adequate quantity” of anything would be downright unbelievable for someone who typically runs out of everything at the most inopportune moment. Much of society sees things from a “scarcity mentality,” expecting to never have enough, to never get ahead in life. Not in any way. Not in the least. Having a scarcity mentality can be quite painful for the individual, and tends to create a lot of unnecessary fear, anxiety and desperation.
Focus on abundance, not on lack. What you focus on will materialize in your world. Maintaining a scarcity mentality will have you tripping over examples of lack. You will find them everywhere. You will see evidence all around you that reek of negativity, failure, insolvency, famine, drought. You will become increasingly negative. You will suddenly realize that you are nowhere near living an abundant life. Not surprisingly, this realization often causes many Americans to decide it’s not worth worrying about. It will be whatever it will be. They believe it’s too late to prepare, and so they plop down on the couch and turn on Play Station 3 or click On Demand and watch a movie. Some will grab their keys, get in the car, and drive to their favorite bar. Forget about what’s coming. Let’s drown our fears and misgivings with shots of Jim Beam.
We all hold onto beliefs about who we are and what is possible (or not possible). Have you ever asked yourself how true are these beliefs? I have often been plagued by statements such as, “I’ll never be rich,” “There’s never enough,” “I’m not good enough,” I’ll never be happy,” or “I don’t have a head for handling finances.” Self-limiting beliefs such as these keep you stuck in a scarcity mentality. When you believe money is not within your grasp, you get discouraged and give up. You won’t even try. When the running script in your head is I’ll never have enough to save for the future, you don’t put money away, and, therefore, you never compile a nest egg. You create a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we believe something is not in the realm of possibility, we don’t bother wasting our energy trying to attain it. For us, it’s not in the realm of reality.
It may be surprising to learn that the first thing you can do to break free from scarcity mentality and start moving toward abundance is to be thankful for your paychecks. Gratitude is a critical element of learning to be thankful for what you have. It will help you to move toward abundance. If you think you’ll never have enough, then not surprisingly you will spend everything you earn. Saving money will not seem like a worthwhile habit. Compound that belief with the “biblical” statement that money is the root of all evil, and you have literally millions of American Christians thinking that accumulating wealth is not sanctioned by the Bible. But note this: The statement Money is the root of all evil is not exactly the wording found in Bible. The Scripture tells us that it’s the LOVE of money that is at the root of all evil. (See 1 Timothy 6:10.)
God cares if our needs are met. Matthew 6:25-26 says, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns – and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are they not much more valuable than [the birds]?” It is interesting that the birds don’t have to think about whether their needs will be met. They are not preoccupied with the thought that there is no way they can survive the year. Not on this small amount of food. Of course, birds don’t worry or rationalize or play the victim. Birds do what birds to. They rely on the Creation of God to supply their food. They plan ahead. They simply go and get what they need. They eat, and they provide for their young.
Steven Barto © 2016