“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid (Psalm 27:1)?”
Many of our fears are rooted in the conviction that there isn’t enough of what we need. Again, think of the younger son in Jesus’ parable (Luke 15:11-16). He had all that he needed as the son of his generous father, and yet he demanded that his father’s estate be handed over to him. He insisted that he possess that which his father had always shared with him. We might call the younger son’s mindset the attitude of scarcity. The attitude of scarcity, rooted as it is in fear, makes hoarders of us all. Think there may not be enough food? Hoard all that you can. Think there’s not enough money? Stuff your silos full of it. Good luck with that strategy, of course. As long as the attitude of scarcity is at work in us, we will never have enough. The attitude itself guarantees that. Nor is the attitude of scarcity limited to our physical needs. We are perhaps never more insecure than when we’re afraid that there’s not enough love for ourselves. Why else are we rocked to our heels by a few words of criticism? Or, why are many of us so needy of the approval of others?
Jesus, by way of contrast, operated and taught out of the mindset of abundance. “Seek first God’s kingdom,” he told his disciples, “and all these things (their daily needs) will be added to you.” The mindset of abundance is an attitude of deep trust in the God who supplies abundantly and who provides generously for what we need. We cannot own what the creator provides for us; we can only trust, enjoy and share it. The words of the Psalmist, quoted above, express the attitude of abundance beautifully. They can serve as a powerful affirmation for we prodigals who wish to grasp and hoard. “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?” asks the Psalmist. “The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Rooted and grounded in Jesus, we need not be afraid. We need not live by the principle of scarcity. We can be free to share, to be generous, to love because we trust God who generously provides for us.