A Lack Of Abundance Is Not The Same As ScarcityDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
“So don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow can worry about itself. One day’s trouble at a time is quite enough.”
Scarcity surrounds us. Many people around the world do not have enough. Enough food, water, shelter, love, peace, comfort, material goods, natural resources, or job opportunities. Economies are struggling, families struggle with financial stress, wars and conflicts abound, and far too many children go to bed hungry. Some would argue this is all unnecessary, for there is enough food and water and other resources for all to share.
Scarcity is a like a disease that infects our minds and causes us to make poor choices. It creates a tunnel vision that does not allow us to see beyond this moment and into a different future. Research has shown when we feel insecure we do not perform as well in life. If we are uncertain about our job stability, we under perform. If we are financially insecure, we tend to indebt ourselves to creditors. When we are socially or emotionally insecure, we isolate ourselves, increasing our loneliness and the inner belief we are unlovable. Feelings of scarcity grow in fear, creating a vicious cycle that is not easily broken.
But feelings of scarcity also come from the sin of comparison. We compare our situation to those around us, and it creates in us jealousy, greed, envy, and even malice. We crave what others posses. We desire their money and the perceived freedom it would bring. We lust after their bodies, their health, or their intellect. We long for their many friendships and family ties. We want their natural and economic resources. My mom used to call this, ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. It is at the root of many conflicts and the source of many wars. The fight over resources runs deep into our realities.
Jesus warns us against such things in his Sermon on the Mount. He encourages us not to worry. His examples are basic and hard. How can one who is hungry not worry about their next meal? How can we not concern ourselves with how we cover our nakedness?
We desire more than our share. We seek after more than our fair allotment. Those with more hoard what they have instead of sharing. Wealth hoarding is just as much a sign of feelings of scarcity as the one who puts a flat-screen on a credit card before having the cash to pay for it. Churches also operate from places of scarcity when they do not share the resources they have, for fear those resources will be wiped out.
A lack of abundance is not the same as scarcity.
Jesus teaches us not to worry. Instead, “make your top priority God’s kingdom and his way of life, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33). As kingdom people, let’s share what we have and humbly accept when others share on our behalf.
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:
How does the fear of scarcity impact your life? How are we to meet the needs of those who live with genuine scarcity?
Jesus please help me to operate out of a place of fair sharing and not a fear of scarcity. Amen.