Is the mind of Christ a scarcity or abundance mindset?
All nine grandchildren came over the other night. They played indoors and outdoors until after dark and filled our place with joy and energy. The next morning I looked down from my upstairs window at the fort the kids had built the night before. It looked as though they had either set a big board on top of a bunch of daffodils, smashing the flowers in such a way that all the blooms lay at the edge of their fort, or they had picked dozens of blooms and decorated the edge of the fort with the plucked blossoms. I couldn’t tell from my upstairs window, so I had to go check it out.
A Treasured Space
Sure enough, when I got out to the fort, I saw they had picked Easter flowers to their hearts delight, and trimmed the front edge of the cardboard-and-sticks fort with them. Then I noticed they had made a wall of sticks and twigs, which was also artfully decorated with daffodils, woven into the wall with care. Seeing the inside floor of the treasured space strewn with the yellow flowers as well, I wasn’t sure how to react. Should I fuss at the children for picking so many flowers, or should I rejoice in the wonderful freedom and joy they reveled in as they built their masterpiece?
Just imagine, feeling free to lavish flowers all over the floor of the fort, like a lover who spreads rose petals all over the house in the movies! The abundance of the beautiful blooms just felt like there was plenty, like they would never run out. And it’s true. Though my grandchildren picked dozens of blooms, we still have quite a few left, and God provided them. I had nothing to do with them. The daffodils were here when we moved in and have multiplied every year since. I haven’t lifted a finger or spent a penny to make them grow.
Abundance or Scarcity Mindset?
I decided to celebrate instead of fuss. Sometimes we need to change our mindset. In recent years, I have heard or read various leaders and writers use the terms “abundance” versus “scarcity” mindset. I struggle a bit with this, but I think Jesus seemed to have more of an abundance mindset. And if we’re supposed to have the “mind of Christ” in us, then I need to work on being transformed into this way of thinking.
For example, the disciples struggled with a scarcity mindset when they complained about the expensive perfume Mary poured out upon Jesus’ feet (John 12:3). Jesus, however, defended her actions. Don’t misunderstand. The “prosperity gospel” is wrong. Following Jesus is not about getting rich. Of course, and always, we want to help the poor and avoid hoarding possessions like the “rich fool” (Luke 12:13-21). On the other hand, lavishing an expensive gift on a loved one occasionally is not wrong. We have an abundance—at least most of us American Christians do—enough to help the poor and celebrate a wonderful Easter with family, spoiling our children with candy and love.
God Has More Than Enough
God has an abundance of love. We don’t need to always be in competition with each other or envious of one another’s success. We are family, and God can take care of us all. So this Easter, give to the poor and celebrate with family if you are able. Let’s be filled with hope and generosity. Pick a few flowers and decorate the house. This year it feels like the resurrection has an extra layer of meaning. God is bringing the world back to life after the pandemic. I am filled with hope. I pray you are too.
Thoughts on scarcity and abundance? I would love to hear them in the comments!
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