And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV)
Most people reading this blog have heard a portion of this section of Paul’s letter so many times that they can probably quote it. For years it was the fall back scripture for offering talks. You know, the one that talks about sewing and reaping. That verse focuses on what we do and what we receive. It’s a good verse, but we shouldn’t stop there.
It is common to categorize people as either optimists or pessimists. The pessimist sees a glass as half empty and the optimist sees the glass as half full. That works and we all understand it, but I think the optimist sees the faucet and knows that even if there is only a drop in the glass it can easily be refilled again.
Paul is talking about giving and he wants the Corinthians to realize that no matter how much they give God is able to resupply whatever they give away. The word “all” is repeated 4 times in the verse above. If we included “every” in the list the concept of no exceptions is repeated 5 times. God wants to provide for us and his capability is unlimited.
Here’s the question, do you tend to look at the resources available to you as limited or infinite? Do you have a scarcity or an abundance mindset? We all have limitations, but do we focus on the limitations or what needs to be done and what we can do? Most of us are familiar with the scarcity mindset with its focus on what can’t be done because we don’t think we have enough resources.
What does an abundance mindset look like? Our Colorado kids attend a church that operates with an abundance mindset. I don’t know how it developed, but it is apparent everywhere you look. As a congregation they are always looking for things to do with the excess of funds over their budget that are available. It seems to be a positive feedback loop. The more good the congregation does, the more people come, and the more people give with the result that more good can be done.
I’m a book person, so just one example that I’ve seen several times. Often the minister will choose to preach a series based on a Christian book. His desire is that people listen to the Sunday messages and read the book. You know this because at the beginning of the new series the lobby of the church is filled with tables stacked with books. I’m sure some people put a little extra in the offering to cover the cost of the book, but there is never a request to do that. The books have already been paid for by the generosity of the congregation. This is what can happen when congregations see the world through an abundance mindset.
An abundance mindset focuses on what God is capable of and not on our limitations. God is the God of “all” and “every” and not the God of “some” and “occasionally”. Be encouraged and live the abundant life.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 ESV)
To my grandchildren:
Always think about what you can do because you have parents who love you and a God who provides all you need.