I received one of those forwarded emails this week. I usually try to at least skim through them before hitting DELETE, and occasionally I am rewarded with a gem.Dear God,
I bet it’s very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. Nan
In the wealthiest nation in history, we live too often with a scarcity mentality. We never seem to have enough time or money or electronic gadgets. It seems that the more we have, the more unfulfilled we feel.
Technology eliminates repetitive tasks and frees our time, but we in fact have less time for important relationships. We find ourselves trapped in an endless cycle in which we go to work to get the money to buy the stuff, but there is seemingly never enough stuff. So we work harder to get more money to buy more stuff. The wheel just keeps spinning faster and we run harder to keep up. Perhaps that awareness is one hidden benefit of the current difficult economic circumstances. Maybe uncertainty can help us to recognize the reality that true security cannot be attained on the work-money-stuff merry-go-round.
Our culture functions on the assumption that fulfillment stems from having and getting, even though experience clearly teaches that this scarcity model only creates an ever-increasing sense of emptiness.
We even view love through this lens of scarcity. We behave as though a finite amount of love exists and we parcel it out carefully to those who earn it in some way. We love those who love us in return, as though we may deplete our supply of love if we give it to one who fails to return it.
That’s not God’s model. He loves freely and unconditionally; no limits, restrictions, or requirements. God offers an abundance model in which love liberally shared is multiplied. His command to love our neighbors, and even our enemies, arises from an abundance model.
Authentic abundance never stems from acquisition. The things that matter most in life—relationship, acceptance, and love—arise most fully when they are shared as though there is always an overflowing cup with excess for all.
Question: Where has the scarcity model impacted you most significantly?