Today’s post comes from Radical Mentoring’s President Kevin Harris . . .
Your neighbor drives up in a new car and shortly after you catch yourself staring down at the 140,000 miles on your odometer and then you get a whiff of your kids’ sports gear in the back. You start dreaming of that new car smell and wonder what your neighbors did to ‘deserve’ that new purchase.
Your best friends purchase their ‘dream home’ and you find yourself scrolling Zillow determining the value of your ‘money pit’ and checking out a local realtor’s website because if they can afford it, why can’t you?
In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey describes Scarcity Mentality . . . the idea that life is one big pie and if someone gets a bigger piece of the pie it means less for everyone else (including you). People who have the Scarcity Mentality have a hard time sharing recognition, credit and profit and have a hard time being happy for the success of others.
Scarcity brings what we don’t have into sharp focus and as research shows, ultimately causes us to ignore our long-term goals and give more attention to the urgent and unimportant things. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Wall Street banker with an overscheduled workday or the sugarcane farmer in India who only gets paid after the harvest, when we perceive we lack something (time or money), our minds become less efficient (up to 10 IQ points) and our thoughts begin to ‘tunnel’ on that one thing at the expense of whatever goals and dreams we may have.
This concept of scarcity isn’t new. In fact, it’s one of the oldest ideas we have . . . think about Adam and Eve. When they were told they could have anything they wanted but the fruit from one tree, the serpent got them so focused on that one tree, they just had to try it. That same mentality plagues so many of us today . . . just think about those examples from the beginning of this post, some of you are probably still thinking about the idea of a new car.
But if what we believe about Jesus is true . . . that every good thing comes from Him and is without limit, then you and I should be living abundantly because we already have enough. We should be giving, sharing and living without the fear that there won’t be enough to go around. Easier said than done, right?
So, what can we do differently? How can we live and think differently in light of the scarcity trap we all fall into? One thought . . . be grateful. As Ann Voskamp says in her book One Thousand Gifts, “Being joyful isn’t what makes you grateful. Being grateful is what makes you joyful.”
For those of you who are skeptics (or call yourselves realists), I’m not talking about ‘pie in the sky’ living. I’m not talking about ignoring the issues and challenges we face daily. But I am talking about training yourself to think differently. For me, when my son wakes up too early (again) and crawls into bed with my wife and, I’m trying to train myself to be thankful for the time to hold him and silently pray for him. When no one listens to me at a 7-year-old baseball practice, I’m trying to train myself to be thankful for a career that allows me to coach my kids and be a positive influence on them, their friends, and the parents who allow us to coach their children for a few hours each week. Instead of focusing on the daily distractions that compete for our full attention every day, will you join me in taking a long-term view and training ourselves to focus on the things that truly matter?
Scripture: This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Pslam 118:24)
Mentor Tip: Mentoring a small group of younger people will only be successful if it’s done from the overflow of gratitude from a grateful heart. After all, you can’t export what you don’t have.
ACTIVATE THE MEN IN YOUR CHURCH
Small group mentoring can help you engage your men, build your core group of leaders, and transform your church. Our free resources equip you with all the tools you need to launch a sustainable mentoring program.