The Scarcity Lie

Recently a close friend of mine met up with me for a walk over our lunch break. When she asked me how I was doing, I replied, “Well, I don’t accept a poverty mentality as true, but I live daily refuting the lie that there isn’t enough. I struggle constantly to denounce the whispers that I don’t have enough time, enough help, enough resources, enough….you fill in the blank.”

I could spend this entire page writing out the places we are short, the areas where we don’t have enough. And yet, my confidence in a God of abundance, screams against that evidence. Have you ever found yourself here? I think it’s a common lie—one the enemy has been using for time immemorial to trap us in an endless cycle of want. Scarcity. It plagues us, even in our opulence. And the plague leaves us feeling desperate to hold on to what we have, to grab for what we don’t.

When we went to Venezuela in 2004, Jaden was almost three. We enrolled him in Venezuelan preschool where he heard Spanish all morning long. It was my hope that he would grow up learning both Spanish and English concurrently and so be bilingual. The first fruits of this effort, emerged one afternoon about a month after school started. The boys were running through the house, Jaden chasing his older brother, and shouting in Spanish, “No Marshall, mio!” (No Marshall, mine!) The first word I heard him use in his new language was an indicator of the scarcity mentality at work!

And yet the Psalmist cries out in praise to God, “You satisfy the longing heart. You fill the hungry soul with goodness.” And in another place, “You open your hands and satisfy the desires of every living creature.” Can I actually live my life driven by not having enough, when the God of the universe is pictured as opening his hands to satisfy my longing heart?

In the New Testament Paul tells the believers in Philippi, “My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.” He is merely echoing exactly what Jesus told his followers, “Look at the birds of the air…your father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Jesus told his followers to step out of the poverty mentality, to say no to the fear of not enough and to seek His kingdom first of all.

Right about now, you are probably afraid I’m going to start touting some “health and wealth” line, or a prosperity gospel that as Paul would say is “no gospel at all.” You might even be about to argue that the Scriptures I’ve quoted are speaking of spiritual blessings. Let me assure you that I am not interested in replacing one lie—the scarcity mentality, with another equally asinine one—health and wealth. Just because one is a lie, doesn’t mean the other is truth! Neither one fits what God tells us in His Word. The verses I have shared are about life, all of life, the spiritual aspects and the physical. God is our Jehovah Jirah—our provider, both of everything we need for an eternity with him, and all things temporal in the mean time. So if God knows exactly what we need, and he is an extravagant, loving and promise-keeping God, then why would I live trapped by a poverty mentality?

The only solution? Believe God for what he promises. Live with a thankful heart. Seek His Kingdom and his righteousness. And live from a mentality of abundance.

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