In my experience, when God is trying to tell me something, it's confirmed over and over and over again till I finally get the memo.
In the past few months, one concept has been on repeat in my life. I've had multiple conversations pointing me in this direction; I've stumbled across the concept many times online; and there was an entire chapter about it in the book I just finished (Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst, btw).
I don't think that's a coincidence.
So today, I want to chat about the idea of abundance - the concept that there is more than enough success, or love, or healing, or peace, or whatever you need in the world - for you and me both. Abundance for all. Enough for everybody.
One of my most favorite Bible verses is John 10:10. It tells us that there's a real enemy out there who wants to "steal, kill and destroy," BUT we have a God who gives us "everything in abundance!" Another translation says God gives us "life in its fullness until [we] overflow."
Too often, I forget that my God is one of over-the-top abundance and boundless love. I forget He has good plans for my life. I forget His ways win in the end. And so I fall into what's called a scarcity mentality.
The scarcity mentality believes there's a limited amount of [insert whatever you're currently desiring here] to go around in the world. Maybe you're longing for authentic friendship, a successful career, or the opportunity to be a leader. The scarcity mentality tells us there's a finite amount of goodness to be shared by all. So, when someone else obtains what you desire - you're out of luck.
This mindset was best explained to me by using the metaphor of a pie - imagine that thing you're so desperately wanting as a whole pie. My personal "pie" is made of meaningful relationships, the feeling of belonging, and a strong sense of purpose, among other desires in my heart. The scarcity mentality tells us that there's only one pie for the whole world to share. When someone in my life finds a slice of happiness and success, the scarcity mindset makes me feel like they're taking a big piece of my pie. I feel jealous and resentful, and I begin to doubt I'll ever get my serving.
And then, there are those seasons of life when it feels like everyone around me is getting what I want. If I default to a scarcity mentality, I wonder if there's any left for me. Then suddenly, I'm in a downward spiral, convincing myself that my life will simply be crumbs. Everyone becomes my competition and I forget about God's provision.
When we live with a scarcity mentality, we can't truly celebrate others' successes. We believe the lie that other people living out their purpose is a threat to ours. It's a nasty, hopeless, disappointing place to be.
The opposite of this scarcity mentality is an abundance mindset (spoiler alert, this POV is a lot more fun!) Abundance is the notion that the world's goodness is infinite. It's the belief that there is a unique mission set out for every single person on this earth and God will find a way for each individual's purpose to be fulfilled. To believe in abundance is to understand that God's grace and mercy are never-ending. His gifts never run out and His promises never fail.
While the scarcity mentality is goodness contained in one singular, 12-inch pie pan, the abundance mindset is a never ending supply of your FAVORITE pie. Literally, picture 10,000 fresh-baked pies for you to devour - made from the highest quality ingredients, crust filled to the brim with the sugary, flavorful filling of your choice.
That is ALL the goodness I believe God has for each and every one of us. Each one of our pie preferences may be different, but it still satisfies our unique desires. God's plans for every person are specifically catered to individual wants and needs - and the amount of goodness we receive isn't affected by anyone else.
2 Corinthians 9:8 puts it this way: "God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything - every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do."
God doesn't want to just give us crumbs. He's the God of "more than enough," remember? His world does not operate on the property of scarcity. There's abundance for all. Enough for everybody. We just have to believe in it. To me, that sounds a lot more helpful, hopeful, and healing than the scarcity mindset.
When we live by the principle of abundance, we can honestly celebrate others' successes. We don't feel threatened or jealous anymore. We trust that God supplies enough for you and me.
Because God wants to give us "life in its fullness till we overflow." And personally, I think that's better than even 10,000 banana cream pies.