The Abundance Mentality

There is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.

Ghandi

My family has been volunteering with refugees through our church and through Oasis International‘s Good Neighbor Initiative.

I love visiting with people from around the globe, listening to their stories, and praying with them.

I love it.

But it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

I’m a fixer. I have a natural tendency to want to singlehandedly fix everything that’s broken.

It’s frustrating and disappointing to accept when I can’t.

I can’t be everything to everyone.

I can’t fix the brokenness that I see when I enter into these homes.

The single woman who is lonely and needs a job so she can buy food again.

The pregnant mother whose husband is still in Congo, just trying to make ends meet.

The apartments without furniture.

The rent that doesn’t get paid.

The empty cabinets and bare refrigerator.

The kids without toys and barely any clothing.

I saw it when I was in Haiti and Guatemala too. Overwhelming needs and un-fixable poverty.

Or so it seemed.

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Sometimes I see so much hurt, poverty, and brokenness around me that it makes it feel like there isn’t enough.

Enough love.

Enough time.

Enough resources.

Enough of me.

But then I’m reminded that it’s not really about me.

It’s not up to me to fix everything, but to invite God into the brokenness.

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We cannot out-give God. Abundant life is found in pouring ourselves out…

There is no life worth living without generosity because generosity is a function of abundance mentality. And abundance mentality is a function of identity and intimacy.

The way to slowly die is to believe you live in a space of scarcity and not abundance of generosity. The abundant way of life is the paradox of the broken way, to believe we live with enough time, enough resources, enough God…

Radical love isn’t as much about where you move to as letting Jesus move you wherever you are….the only life worth living is the life you lose.

Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way

I get discouraged when I think about all the needs, but then God shows up and reminds me that he is more than enough. 

It’s impossible to be everything to everybody, but I can be that one person to one person.

God hasn’t called me to fix everything.

It’s not only delusional but incredibly prideful for me to pretend that I can.

Not only will I get burnt-out, but I’ll feel like I’m the hero providing, not the Lord.

All God has called me to do is to be obedient, and to pray.

Sometimes in all of life’s craziness – in all my rush to fix things – I forget to do the one thing he’s asked me to do: Pray. Lift it up to him. Make those problems his problems.

Cast all your burdens on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

A few weekends ago, Claudia was here from the Bruderhof community. We had a great conversation about the simplicity / hospitality wrestle. Those two things can sometimes feel like a conflict. But they don’t have to be.

Hospitality can be simple, but the love can still be extravagant.

Abundance mentality loves extravagantly.

Claudia reminded me about the woman with the alabaster jar who poured her perfume on Jesus feet. (John 12:1-8)

We’re called to live simply, but to love extravagantly. It isn’t a wrestle. It’s a calling.

Judas judged that woman for being wasteful. (Although the Bible says it was really his greed talking, not his frugality.)

I think about her buying that perfume. Did it look wasteful to others? Maybe they thought she was buying it for herself.

But they don’t know her heart.

Her hospitality was love poured out.

I want to live a life poured out.

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The opposite of abundance mentality is a poverty mentality.

Poverty mentality hoards when abundance mentality shares.

Poverty mentality fears the drought while abundance mentality is in communion with the giver of rain.

Abundance mentality knows that despite what it may look like, there is always enough to go around. God owns everything.

We aren’t meant to hoard or store up for ourselves.

We’re meant to give freely, knowing that God will provide for the next thing.

We can’t out-give God.

He has given us everything we need.

He has already given us his son.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

2 Peter 1:3

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

1 John 3:16

Abundance mentality isn’t the same as a hero mentality, which can be severely damaging to everyone involved.

I’m no hero, that’s for sure. I need rescuing just as much as anyone.

When we give of ourselves, God is able to meet us there and fill us up again. We are urged to love as he loved us, which means love even to the point of death, with no limits.

How do we find that kind of love?

All we can do is look to him because he did it for us first.

We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

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