One story is central to both a Jewish and Christian mindset. It has to do with observing Sabbath. Sabbath means to “cease”…to stop what you are doing to focus on rest, relationships and worshipping God. But to do that you need an abundance mentality.
The Bible tells the story of “manna” from heaven (See Exodus 16). In order to set aside one day a week God provided his people with food in a miraculous way. Every morning they woke up to find the ground covered with “manna” a grain-like substance that was good for a day. On the sixth day the manna lasted two days allowing them to rest on the seventh day.
Slaves and The Scarcity Mentality
But some people went out on the seventh day to collect manna anyways even though God told them they wouldn’t find any. Why? Because these people were former slaves from Egypt and they still thought like slaves. They were used to being mistreated. They couldn’t imagine having a day of rest. They couldn’t imagine a God that would provide for them double on day six so they could rest on day seven. They were used to being fed scraps and going hungry.
They fended for themselves. They cheated, they stole, they hoarded…they did whatever they needed to survive because they didn’t think anyone was looking out for them. They were convinced that they had to provide for themselves. They had a scarcity mentality. They believed that there was only one “pie” and so they needed to work extra hard to make sure they g0t their piece of the pie to survive.
My dad grew up in the depression and it was very much the same kind of mentality. The Depression trained him to believe that if you were going to survive you needed to worry and work all the time. You couldn’t rest or you might not survive. With all due respect to my dad, he thought like a slave. Slaves live in fear and wear themselves out making sure they survive.
Sabbath and The Abundance Mentality
In our culture that never ceases; Sabbath is a crazy idea. But Sabbath can only be celebrated by those who have an abundance mentality. They believe that they can afford to rest, rejuvenate and worship one day a week without losing ground. In their thinking, ceasing one day a week actually ADDS to their life. They don’t worry about getting their piece of the pie because they know that God is making new pies all the time!
What about you? Do you focus on what you have or what you don’t have?
Developing An Abundance Mentality
Someone asked me recently how to develop an abundance mentality. Here are three suggestions;
- Focus on what you have and be thankful rather than on what you don’t have and complain.
- Reflect on all the things that God has made an abundance of; stars, planets, fish, lakes, seeds, etc.
- Read and meditate on Bible stories that give examples of God’s abundance. Reflect on how your story might turn from scarcity to abundance if you simple changed your perspective.
Question: What else can you do to develop an abundance mentality? Leave your comment below.
- The Difference Between a Scarcity and Abundance Mentality (readingremy.com)
- Two Tribes: Scarcity & Abundance (sanderssays.typepad.com)
- Shame and Sabbath (readingremy.com)