May 19, 2017

Scarcity is burned into our brains, because of the culture in which we live. Advertising is based on telling us what we lack in the three As, appearance, achievements and affluence. We are bombarded with messages that cause us to ask ourselves, “What are all the things I need to own in order to be happier? These messages focus on all the things that you don’t have! If you and I buy into this, we go through life thinking about what we don’t have and what we need to “get out of life.” The result of going through life, constantly thinking about what you don’t have is we feel apprehensive to share what we have, so instead, we hold onto it. When we feel as if we don’t have enough, we can convince ourselves that we must conserve and hold onto things in order to be happy. It’s that spirit that holds us back from sharing with family and friends and from discovering the joy of blessing the life of another. It’s one of the things that helps to destroy a sense of community. I think there are 3 things we can do to break out of a scarcity mindset!.

First, if you and I want to become people who are grateful for life, we need to come into the presence of Jesus; we need to be the people who put ourselves in a position to experience God’s grace, to experience what it means to say you are loved, accepted and forgiven.

Second, to develop a grateful spirit, we not only come into the presence of Christ, but we need to understand that money isn’t the answer. Please hear me when I say that there is nothing wrong with money! In fact, money is very important, but it isn’t the ultimate answer that brings us to final happiness. We all need a certain amount of money. But, how much money does it take to be happy? Dr Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist found the answer to this question and the results are fascinating! They determined a huge difference between happiness levels of people earning $15,000/year and $40,000/year. However, the difference in happiness levels from those earning $40,000/year vs. those earning $100,000/year was actually, very small. The difference between $100,000 and $1,000,000 a year seems to be no difference at all! At this point, money no longer seems to be the thing that determines your happiness! All the studies seem to indicate that it is not a bad thing to have more, but rather than worrying about the next raise, you would do better to begin focusing on your outlook on life! Our outlook on life is most affected by coming into the presence of Christ. It helps us to realize what is important and how we have been loved, blessed and accepted. It gives us a spirit of gratitude.

Third, when we understand that money is important, but it is not the ultimate answer, we begin to want to share; we want to give our hearts and share our lives; we want to reach out and be a blessing to others. When we bless the life of another, we find the things that really are important. So, what is really important in life? We all know the answer, but we are so inundated with a sense of scarcity in our culture that we forget and we think it’s in consumerism rather than in relationships! We need to decide we have enough to share! If you and I, out of the spirit of gratitude, decide to give our hearts and share our lives, we will find life, we will help to create community and find a place to belong!