When he was young I took one of my sons to a fast food restaurant and bought him a cheeseburger and French fries. As he sat eating I asked if I could have one of his French fries. The look on his face was one for the ages. "Dad, but then I might not have enough!” he said. I believe that all of us have an innate desire to be generous. As a Generosity Incubator I find that for some this ability to be generous is fully awake. For some it lies dormant. For others it occasionally raises its head and makes a noble attempt and then, for a number of reasons, drops below the surface again. Why is that? What are the obstacles that keep us from being generous? In my next few blog posts, I would like to address various Obstacles to our living generously. First, allow me to give you my definition of generosity: “The practice of giving good (time, talent, treasure) freely and abundantly.” An obstacle I often encounter is ‘The mindset of Scarcity’. Living with the fear that we won’t have enough. You could probably imagine a widow in a developing country who has 3 hungry mouths to feed to maybe wonder if there was going to be enough -enough money, enough clothes, enough strength – just to be able to exist let alone share with others. Surprisingly, it is not a belief reserved for those of low net worth, even the high net worth among us can get caught up in this, and sometimes to a larger degree. While you would think that a person with a six-figure income, a house, strong net worth and more would be free of the ‘scarcity’ factor. It is amazing how we still worry about having enough. However, like my son and the French fries that I had given him, we worry that we might not have enough. Like him, we fail to realize that the same ‘good’ dad who had supplied him with our current portion of fries would most definitely make sure that we have enough. No good dad will let his son go hungry. When our perspective is one of scarcity, our focus is on 1) Accumulating, and 2) Competition. We continue to accumulate because we are concerned that we won’t have enough. We compete because we feel if we don’t carve out what is ours, it will go to the other guy and we will be without.
Solution: We can only be truly generous when we shift our perspective from one of Scarcity to one of Sufficiency.
Becoming aware that ‘there is enough’.
It truly is a mindset issue.
For me it is all about understanding that God – the Creator of the Universe who is in love with me and has promised to take care of me – is my provision. He always has and always will provide for my needs. As I recognize that I quit worrying about whether I will have enough. I invite you to embrace this truth.
I invite you – no matter your socio-economic status – to give it a try. Start looking at life through the lens of ‘Sufficiency’. That there will be enough in your life. As you do, I believe you will be able to remove the obstacle of ‘Scarcity’ and begin living generously.
Join us at “Give Serve Live!” as we move from Scarcity to Sufficiency. When you do you will be able to move from ‘Accumulation’ to ‘Allocation’. I don’t need to Accumulate more because there is enough, instead where can I Allocate gifts to?