The temptation of scarcity…



Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 26 They are ever giving liberally and lending,  and their children become a blessing.

Who are these “righteous” people? I tend to think of righteous people as those who never sin, but that’s not accurate. It’s not that righteous people are perfect, it’s that they live within the covenant with God. They seek the Lord, obey the commandments as best they can, and respond in repentance when they fall short. God forgives the sin and restores the sinner to right relationship. Thus, a person is “righteous” once more.

Today’s verses speak to a particular aspect of the covenant with God – provision. God’s people are expected to bring a full tithe (10%) of their income to the Lord, trusting that the Lord will provide all they need with the remaining 90%. Living in relationship with the Lord is an invitation to a different kind of economy than the one we’re used to.

In our earthly economy the more we give/lend to others the less we have for ourselves. It’s an economy of “scarcity”. There’s only so much, so we’d better hold on tight to what we have. God’s economy is different. In God’s economy we are able to give/lend to others without fear of scarcity. There is abundance, meaning we can be generous and still be confident that God will provide for our needs.

“I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging bread.

I understand all this, yet there are still times when I am tempted to hold on, to preserve, to covet material resources, to think in terms of scarcity rather than abundance. It’s a never-ending battle.

This morning I’m asking the Lord where I may be responding to the world around me out of scarcity rather than abundance. What would it look like for me to trust the Lord more deeply in this area of life?

Lord Jesus, there is always the temptation to hold on to what we have too tightly, to think of our financial lives as a zero-sum situation – the more we give, the less we have. Give us grace to embrace your economy of abundance, sharing liberally what you have first given to us. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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