One person is generous and yet grows more wealthy,
but another withholds more than he should and comes to poverty.
A generous person will be enriched,
and the one who provides water for others will himself be satisfied.
People will curse the one who withholds grain,
but they will praise the one who sells it.
–Proverbs 11:24-26 NET
Some years ago, my wife and I traveled to Europe as part of a team. Our goal was to build relationships with those who were not followers of Christ.
A few days after the English Camp started, some of our team planned to go on a hike with the friends they were making at the camp. Before I got back to the room after lunch, my wife loaned out my small backpack to another team member. Rather than reacting with appreciation for her thoughtfulness and generosity, I remember feeling violated. I felt fear that I would not get back what was mine and that the contents would be lost.
To say my overreaction was out of touch with reality is an understatement. Whether she should have asked me first is irrelevant. The truth is, I was gripped at that moment with a scarcity mentality. That small, yet important, incident shined a light on a part of my soul I was not ready to see. Yet I needed to see it.
When I am gipped with a scarcity mentality, I miss the opportunity to ignite hope through generosity. The solution, however, is not simply trying harder to be generous. It is not merely a change of perspective. It comes from a change in my heart that only God can accomplish. True generosity will flow out of my trust in the God who gives all good things.
ACTION: When have you been gripped by a scarcity mentality? What emotions did it evoke in you? What are the ways you have tried to reject it and embrace the abundance God has truly provided for you?