Those who discover a life with God, who draw into intimate communion with Him, will come to see the world very differently. Rather than a place of scarcity and fear, a life with God opens our eyes to recognize a world of abundance that leads to gratitude.
Consider the story of God’s people in Exodus. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, represented the view of scarcity. The Egyptians were threatened by the growth of the Hebrews, so to protect their own power and limited resources they
persecuted the Hebrews and killed their children. A belief in scarcity ‒ that there isn’t enough for everyone to flourish ‒ led Pharaoh to violence, injustice and greed.
God’s people, on the other hand, experienced a world of abundance. Every day the Lord provided them with meat and bread in the wilderness, and water miraculously flowed from rocks in the desert. God’s people always had enough without having to use greed or injustice to ensure their survival.
Assured of God’s provision, they were called to put aside the ways of Egypt and instead seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes the same contrast between the myth of the world’s scarcity and the reality of abundance in God’s Kingdom. If we live in constant fear of not having enough, like Pharaoh, it will lead us to greed and injustice in the name of self-preservation, and it will short-circuit our ability to live with gratitude or practice generosity. Instead, we will be consumed with worry about not having enough for ourselves.
If, however, we believe Jesus’ words and trust that with God there is always an abundance, then we can be set free from a self-centered posture to truly love others. We can view them with compassion rather than as competition. We can give and serve and sacrifice knowing that our needs will be provided for by our heavenly Father, because with Him there is always more than enough. And rather than always worrying about having enough for the future, we are set free to be grateful for God’s provision for today.
Reflection: How do you see the world? Do you believe in the myth of scarcity, or have you been liberated by the abundance of God’s Kingdom? If you had absolute assurance that you would always have enough, how would your practice of generosity change?
(Excerpt from Whole-Life Generosity Devotional, used with permission from GenerousChurch).