"A scarcity mindset is not what Jesus demonstrated."
Scripture reference: Acts 3:6 (NRSV – emphasis added) “Look at us!? I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk!”
Buttered and salted rice was often the all we had available for dinner. I was an extra skinny kid because we grew up poor. As a child and teenager, I had to learn to do without many of the items of privilege which my friends had, and I became resentful.
Worse, I made myself a victim. I looked at my circumstances and decided that there was nothing I could do. Life would never be fair, so why try? This created a “scarcity mindset” in me which proved to be toxic to my life and faith.
A “scarcity mindset” tells us that there isn’t enough and that we shouldn’t share what little we have because we won’t get it back. A scarcity mindset teaches us to be victims of circumstance; powerless. A scarcity mindset is not what Jesus demonstrated, nor what his disciples practiced.
“Look at us!? I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk!”
Jesus and his disciples display a “generosity mindset” which affirm that a little bit of generosity takes us farther than a ton of scarcity. Peter and John knew they didn’t have much, but they didn’t imagine themselves as victims. They understood that they had more to share than could ever be measured. Generosity affirms and teaches us that we are not victims of circumstance.
The generosity mindset reminds us that because of God’s Spirit in us, we have the power to change circumstances from what they are to something better. This is a statement I say to myself every day to counter my tendency toward a scarcity mindset or to ‘play victim.’ Because of God’s work as/in Jesus Christ, we have more to share than can ever be measured. Share away!
Dig deeper: On a scale of 1 to 10: How do you rate your generosity?
What are three things you can do to raise that rating by one point this week?
Would you join me in prayer? God, I acknowledge my own tendency to toward scarcity, and I acknowledge your Holy Spirit inside me inviting me to trust that you have more for me. May I see opportunities to change my circumstances as a gift from you, and a reminder that your gifts are generous and new every morning. Amen