Published on March 1st, 2013 | by Nathaniel0
Abundance vs. Scarcity: Don’t Touch My Big Mac
My mom is an extremely thrifty spender. Fast-food was never a go-to. Everything I ate was either a homemade dish or the 2-day left-overs of a homemade dish. On a very rare occasion, primarily my excessive begging, she would take my older brother, David and I to Mickey D’s. However, the glory-filled trip was often short lived. Imagine yourself in the height of your pubescent years, needing and craving exorbitant amounts of protein and then having to cut your Big Mac in half with your brother! And on top of that, my mom would play her catchphrase “Let me see,” meaning “Cut your piece into a fourth because I bought it.” David would ration off a piece of his scanty portion while I on the other hand had already licked every inch of my half-burger so no one, not even mama, would dare ask for a piece.
This thought popped into my head recently and I had to question was I/ am I at my core a self-loathing and self-indulgent human being? I mean I like to think of myself as a giver but I’ve recognized that I’m someone who has to consciously decide to give whether it’s my time, efforts, or money. Cutting my burger into a fourth was a sacrifice that I was (at that age) unwilling to endure. Subconsciously, I think my selfishness stemmed from not just a need to have more, but a fear to protect myself from feeling like I didn’t have enough.
This could be a reason why we often over-eat. Rather than eating to nourish our bodies, we often eat to get full. This is also the reason why the concept of a buffet disturbs me. In addition to McDonalds, another go-to when we rarely got to eat out was good ol’ Hometown Buffet. After pretending to be 9, to get the under 10 discount (I told you my mom was frugal), we would have an hour to devour as much fried chicken, popcorn shrimp, and chocolate cake as our plates could hold (the funny thing is..she was making close to a six figure income). We were existing in a ‘scarce’ state- that if we didn’t have it now, we might not ever have enough.
This same logic can be applied to tithing 10%. For years, I thought tithing made absolute no sense. The greedy churches just always wanted more money. So for years I didn’t tithe and I conditioned my mind to believe the church was just a money-hungry institution that wanted 10% from my measly $400/month on-campus college job. But through conversation and being led by the spirit, I recognized that this was an act of me living in scarcity. Rather than operating out of an abundance mentality that says God has more in store for those who trust Him, I existed in a world that said this is all you got and this is all you ever gon’ get. This past year, I learned to tithe even through financial drought and God restored my crop, giving me a greater harvest than I could imagine.
One of my favorite scriptures that got me through some tough times says “You alone O Lord are my inheritance, my cup of blessings. You guard all that is mine,” (Psalm 16:4). Everything we will ever receive is already ours. There’s no need to horde or protect possessions because God has more in store.