The Myth of Scarcity

Today's devotion comes to us from Lisa Greenwood.  This was included in the devotional guide "A Generous Life," which we read as a congregation a few years ago.

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God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

A few years ago, when my youngest daughter was about ten, we went to see a movie as a family. The theater had a self-serve concession area with candy bins. My daughter loves sour gummies, so I filled a bag with an appropriate amount of candy for her, then added some extra because I like them too. We settled into our seats and as the movie started, I put my hand out for a sour gummy. My daughter looked right at me, clasped the bag and pulled it away. You can imagine my response. I was incensed! I paid for the treat, and I had purchased extra expressly for her to share. The moment was such a transparent analogy, hitting me like a ton of bricks: I do this every day with God. God provides me with blessings abundant. Enough. And yet I approach life with a scarcity mind-set, as if I might run out of ________________ (fill in the blank: time, money, ideas, energy, love).

Lynne Twist, in her book The Soul of Money, reminds us we live in a culture held hostage by the myth of scarcity. She describes that when we wake up in the morning, our first thought is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” When we crawl into bed at night, our last thought is, “I didn’t get enough done today,” and everything in between is a litany of scarcity. She points out that the antidote to scarcity is not abundance as we might assume. In our desire for abundance, we find ourselves captive to a constant cycle of needing more. The antidote for scarcity? Sufficiency. Isn’t that what we find in God’s abundance? God who provides enough ... enough manna, enough grace, enough blessings ... enough of everything so that we may share abundantly.

An inconsequential moment in a movie theater has become a tangible reminder for me about the notion of sufficiency and generosity. In God’s image, we were all born to be generous, but often the myth of scarcity compels us to hold tight to our stuff, like my daughter to her candy.    

- Lisa Greenwood

Reflection
How do you demonstrate the myth of scarcity in your life? In what ways have you experienced God’s sufficient blessings?

Challenge
Given the ways that God has blessed you with enough, how will you act on Paul’s invitation to share abundantly in every good work?

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