What’s the secret to an abundant life? It’s probably not what you think.
Fish living in a goldfish bowl are not living their best life. Because most fish bowls lack a filtration system to keep their environment clean and free of toxins, very few goldfish survive for more than a few weeks. A bowl simply can’t provide a suitable living environment for any fish to live a healthy and long life. Likewise, an unfiltered or poorly filtered mind does not lead to living life more abundantly. When our thoughts go unchecked and unfiltered, we develop toxic mindsets that cause us to lead unhealthy, unproductive, and unhappy lives. But a new way of thinking will always precede a new way of living.
Joyce Meyer said:
“Right thinking and right attitudes are roadmaps that allow us to reach our potential and fulfill God’s plan for our lives.
I couldn’t agree more. So go our thoughts, so go our lives. One type of “wrong thinking” that can stop us from reaching our potential and fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives is scarcity thinking.
One of the toxic mindsets I have to continuously confront and demolish (daily) is a mindset of scarcity. A scarcity mindset:
- Believes there is never enough so give sparingly or hoard all you have
- Complains and Focuses on problems
- Lives in fear
- Thinks small and avoids risks
- Stops dreaming and hoping
I know this may sound super trivial but one of the ways this mindset has negatively impacted me is in the area of my relationships. Because I am an introvert, I get energized in solitude. When I have to engage in a lot of social interaction with others, I literally feel exhausted afterward. In an effort to keep my energy levels up, I avoid committing to a lot of social activities and events that will require me to have a lot of social interactions.
Because I want to avoid feeling depleted, I tend to hoard my time, love, and energy for myself. I turn down invitations to parties, social events, and gatherings because I don’t want to feel tired and exhausted. Although self-care and boundaries are necessary for our mental health and well-being, not creating time for a social and emotional connection with others can also hurt our mental health and overall wellbeing.
For me, my problem isn’t being over-extended or over-committed. It’s actually being under-extended and under-committed. Maybe even a bit relationally aloof or disconnected at times. If I’m not careful, this manifestation of a scarcity mindset can cause me to live a life of relational poverty because I fail to give generously of my time and love to others.
Fixated On Problems
A scarcity mentality can also cause us to focus on our problems and what we lack, thus causing us to live in fear and hopelessness. Take the Widow of Zarapeth for example. Here we have a single mom who was flat out broke. The only food items she had in her house was a handful of flour and a little olive oil in a jug. She had already planned to make one last meal for herself and her son so she could die. She focused on what she didn’t have and was resolved to just die. Talk about a state of fear, hopelessness, and defeat. But what she doesn’t know was that God was about to bless her life abundantly.
There’s Not Enough
So, we see the Widow meets the prophet Elijah who asks her for some water and a piece of bread. She goes on to tell him her reality—which in the Radhika Cruz version “Look bruh. Ya girl here is broke and my cupboards are bare. I don’t even have enough food to feed myself and my son, let alone you. You must be crazy. We are about to eat a piece of bread together and die.” But in verse 13 Elijah says”
“Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”
Live by Fear or Faith
What I find interesting is Elijah basically commands her to not live in fear and but to live by faith God promises. In that moment, the widow had to make a decision. I’m sure she asked herself:
“Will I choose to live by fear and the reality of what I see—the reality of what I lack—the reality of not having enough? Or, will I choose to live by faith—a reality I can’t see— a God reality of supernatural abundance that’s more than enough for me?”
As we can see from this passage, the Widow chose to believe God’s word and she acted on it by faith. She took the little she had and gave it to God to multiply. Though food was scarce, she generously and sacrificially gave what she did have by faith. She chose not to operate out of fear and she stepped out on faith. As a result, she received a supernaturally abundant supply of more than enough.
Do you perceive some aspect of your life to be lacking in some way? Or, do you believe you’ll never be enough or have enough____?(you fill in the blank). You see, a scarcity mindset is a mindset of fear—it sees limitations, constraints and lack all around. And it operates from a place of hoarding, ungratefulness, stinginess, stagnation, and self-preservation/promotion.
On the other hand, an abundance mindset is a mindset of faith- it believes all things are possible with God and it believes there is no limit to what God can do in you, through you and for you. It is a mindset that operates from a place of generosity, gratitude, growth, and God-promotion. I believe all of us can experience supernatural abundance in every area of our lives if we (like the Widow) choose to R.E.S.E.T. our mindsets.
If you want a practical guide for shifting from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset, click the button below to download your FREE guide You weren’t meant to live a life of lack. You were meant to live a life of abundance.