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Getting an abundance mentality

The other day, one of my leaders had the opportunity to bless one of his people by granting her a privilege. It would have been a wonderful thing. I would have done everything in my power to say “yes.” But the leader said, “no.” Why? Because “It wouldn’t be fair.”   Since when does everyt…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
The other day, one of my leaders had the opportunity to bless one of his people by granting her a privilege. It would have been a wonderful thing. I would have done everything in my power to say “yes.” But the leader said, “no.” Why? Because “It wouldn’t be fair.”
 
Since when does everything have to be fair? I think it’s a product of scarcity thinking. If we have a limited supply of food and we’re all hungry, then we divide it out carefully. On the other hand, if we’re standing in front of a buffet, then no one cares how much others may be heaping on their plate. It’s scarcity that makes people ask questions about fairness. Communism is about scarcity thinking, about carving up the existing pie more exactly. Freedom says, “give it away; there will be more.”
 
Jesus majored on the theme of freedom and God crammed the earth with a cornucopia of resources. He gave us creative minds and industrious hands. His very first command to man was, “Take dominion over the earth and cause it to multiply.” And ever since then, he’s been overwhelming us with his generosity.
 
Let’s just look at fish, for example. When Jesus is first getting to know Peter, he blows him out of the water with a catch of so many fish that his nets began to break.* When it’s time to feed a crowd of thousands, he multiplies the fish on hand not so that there is just enough, but so that there are baskets of scraps left over.** And when he is with the disciples for the last time, he cooks them a breakfast of fish. The God of the universe who created not only every species of fish, but the very oceans in which they swim, understood their hunger and had breakfast waiting.
 
God doesn’t want us to be caught up in worry. He is the God of more than enough. He even has a name, Jehovah-Jireh, “God will provide.” Jesus didn’t go away to prepare a squatter’s hut for us; he has mansions waiting. And he doesn’t have a few morsels to feed us, but a wedding banquet where the food never stops.
 
If we will embrace this God of abundance, this God who says, “freely you have received, freely give,” then the issue of fairness goes away. Scarcity is not a part of the equation. When you serve a master who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the question of “enough” is moot. Heidi Baker illustrates that truth for us in the book Always Enough.  God gives to us shaken down and spilling over so that we can love lavishly. All we have to do is to trust him – to believe that he wants us to bless us in that way.
 
Maybe it’s because of the unmet needs in our lives, the scarcity that we’ve felt, that we tend toward miserliness. We want to horde what we have because we don’t know if there will be enough and we don’t really trust God to provide what we lack. Whatever the reason, the human tendency is to, like the steward in the parable, figuring that we serve a demanding master, carefully measure out our giving.
 
We need to meet the Lord of the harvest and accept him into our hearts.

*Luke 5:6
 
**John 6:5-15

Comments (3)

  • Sometimes it seems the more you have materially, the less you are sure about giving it away because you can’t imagine life without it all. Some of the richest people I have known are also the meanest, the most penny-pinching in attitude. The most generous are those with next to nothing.

    I remember one evening when I worked on a street theatre/outreach team and had no income and literally no cash at all (but at least I had a roof over my head, which is richer than some), I came home to find a parcel in my room. Some old friends had visited while I was out and left a parcel of soap, toothpaste, face cloths, toothbrushes, shampoo – lots of basic toiletries that I couldn’t afford to buy. BUT the key thing was, they left me two of everything.

    They understood a principle there, that when you have nothing, you actually yearn to have something to give away. So I took great delight in giving away all the extras to other people on the team who also had none. I didn’t care that once it was gone it was gone. I didn’t want to keep the extras for when they ran out, I just loved the look on people’s faces when they got something they needed. I think God’s the same!

    God always has an abundance to give away and He is like the kid pouring the glass of milk – it always overflows and goes all over the table. He doesn’t see it as a waste, but as plenty. The trick, I guess (and I often forget it in truth) is that He always has plenty of what you need so you’ll have some to give away, but trusting Him to do it again and again and again……….that’s a toughie if you have a lot to start with somehow. Cos the more you have, the more you have to give away and the bigger and scarier the gesture I guess. I think I was more generous when I had less in many ways.

    Isn’t it David who says Lord, don’t give me riches and don’t give me poverty. Just give me what I need. If I am poor, I may steal bread and dishonour your Name; if I am rich, I may forget You. Just give me enough. I would add, just give me enough and a bit more so I can share it. Or give me the courage to handle plenty with a generous heart like Yours, trusting You, who are no man’s debtor.

  • 2Corinthians 9:8

    “God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.” (The Message Bible)

    The Amplified Bible reads,

    “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].”

    It’s just okay when my liberality flows out of God’s abundance towards me. Nothing less should be expected. But how do we explain a life that gives in the midst of “deep poverty”… “severe tribulation” and “great joy”?? (2Cor 8:1-2)

  • I love this blog. YES! And what about love believing the best? Can not one person be blessed and the others rejoice? Or do we believe they’ll have a tantrum and say, “No fair!” If anything, it’s a chance to have our own hearts revealed to us.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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