Last month, I introduced the idea of a scarcity mindset as exemplified by the disciples when they criticized the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with oil before his death and burial. This paradigm screams: Wait your turn. This seat’s taken. Stay in your lane. Shame on you. You can’t do that because there’s not enough to go around.
Now that I have become aware of this mindset, I recognize it all too often in myself. Most recently, my husband was promoted and he now has to divide his time between my department and a few others. I found my heart screaming, there’s not enough. But then I remembered the woman at Jesus’ feet and asked God instead for a multiplication mindset.
This way of thinking and living is the direct opposite of scarcity. A multiplication mindset shouts: Go for it. Join us. There’s plenty. Run, girl, run. Pull up a chair. How can I help? Let’s do this. Let me share mine with you.
An example of someone who lived from a view of multiplication (not scarcity) was Elizabeth, the wife of the high priest Zechariah. Elizabeth was the older, more respected woman. She had waited many years for a child. Her belly was finally protruding with six months of glory. Then here comes this young cousin, barely sixteen, unexpectedly pregnant without any effort. And what does Elizabeth say? “Your child will be greater than mine. You are blessed. I honor you.”
In those days Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She exclaimed with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child in your womb! And who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? For the instant the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”Luke 1:39-45 (NET)
A scarcity mindset would seek to hold Mary back. To put her in her place, to make her stay in her lane. Instead, Elizabeth, a godly woman, sets her free. She understands that God has enough for both of them.
I have met a number of women just like Elizabeth in my new writing journey. Women who freely (or for a very reasonable fee) offer their expertise, templates, ideas, and coaching to a young writer from nowhere. They want to see others succeed and they reach out and offer encouragement. Some of these have graciously written endorsements for my book. All because they want to me to run!
I desire to be like these women, both to my husband and to the new colleagues that he oversees. I know that he has amazing gifts that need to be spread around. My petty grip only enforces a scarcity mindset which I need to shed.
I can do this only by returning to what I know to be true—in Jesus, I have enough. He loves me totally and fully. He is enough for me even when I share my resources with someone else. He sees my talents and offerings and he will help me find a way to use them even when it appears as though all the places have been taken.
Who do you feel is moving into your lane? That you think is going to take away your supply?
How can you change your thinking to a multiplication mindset?
In what ways can you invite others to the table and share your abundance?
Lord Jesus, I confess that lately I have tried to hold my resources too close to my chest and have not been willing to share with others. I have been afraid that if I let them go, I would suffer or lose out. Show me how to graciously give in a desire to multiply your kingdom and your goodness.
Next in Mary series: Good Things
Another Biblical example of a multiplication mindset is John the Baptist who let his disciples go to be with the greater teacher, Jesus. Read my thoughts on that subject.
For more on Elizabeth, read Favored Blessed Pierced: A Fresh Look at Mary of Nazareth.