If you’re at all familiar with the self-help community these days, you’ll know that abundance and lack thinking are common topics. Living in lack means that you believe there isn’t enough of something for you to have it–it can be material things like money or cars, or intangibles like peace, joy, health, happiness, etc.–that there’s only a certain amount of x in the world and only a select few have it.
I was struck this morning listening to J.B. Glossinger’s podcast about lack thinking. He talked about some pretty convicting ways to tell if you’re in lack thinking–e.g., making fear-based decisions, getting jealous of people who do have that thing, or having a fixation on whatever you lack. This is a relatively new concept related to the law of attraction and other philosophies–new as in within the past 100 years. But it’s not new to Christians.
In Genesis 3, Satan convinces Adam and Eve that they’re missing something. They have fruit from all the trees in the garden–except for one. And, as Beth Moore says in Esther, the moment that warning switched from God’s gracious caution/protection to His prohibition, Adam and Eve were sucked in. Suddenly, God was the enemy, the one keeping them from something good. Suddenly, they didn’t have enough–they were missing something.
It’s easy to see things that way, isn’t it? Sometimes I look at my life and get cranky over my lack of health or stressed over our finances. Other people have x, y, z, so why can’t I have it too? Instead of seeing those lacks as God’s gracious protection or a result of some heart issue He’s trying to solve in me, I focus on the fact that I don’t have it now.
I love the fact that all Christians are God’s trust fund children. I love that our gracious God gives us more than we need. I love that when I have a lack in my life, I can choose to focus on who God is and watch the situation expectantly, knowing that my heavenly Father is never going to leave me hanging.
I also think it’s pretty amazing when you take a bird’s eye view of resources in the world in general–there’s always enough peace, hope, joy, love, etc. when we get those things from God because they’re fruit of the Holy Spirit. It’s easy to feel like there is limited money or limited food or limited medicine worldwide but more and more I’ve been able to see how God renews resources. I realize some of those resources are not as accessible as we would like, but they’re still available–it’s a distribution issue rather than a true lack of resources, if that makes sense. For instance, trees keep growing and providing the wood for paper and firewood, etc., etc.
Anyway! all that to say, we don’t live in lack. Or at least, as Christians, we don’t have to. We live in a world where God provides everything we need–the same way He provided everything Adam and Eve needed. Therefore, if I’m living in lack, I don’t need to point my finger at God–I need to point it at myself.