Monday, December 12, 2016

Abundance or Deficiency

Is the emotional atmosphere in your marriage borne from a mindset of abundance, or deficiency? Are your actions and attitudes coming from a place of want or plenty?

In the book of Corinthians, the Apostle Paul is trying to convince the young church to give generously to fellow Christians in Jerusalem, and he uses the metaphor of a farmer sowing seed. The message is that if you want to have a bountiful harvest, you must sow liberally. This is the mindset of abundance; a farmer with a deficiency mindset worries about the seed they have running out, and plants too carefully, too sparsely. As a result, the resulting harvest is also meager. But what does this have to do with marriage? In Proverbs 11:24 the writer takes this point and applies it to relationships.

Some give freely, yet grow all the richer; others withhold what is due, and only suffer want.

Summed up, the more you give, the more you get. Withhold, and get less. In the presence of hurt though, or in cases of broken trust it is easy to become scared to give. A deficiency mindset sets in, and we withhold forgiveness, not wanting to appear to condone the actions that hurt us. We forget Jesus’ examples of mercy, of grace. We silently withhold affection, waiting for our partner to act the way we want them to. Or worse, we express that there are conditions for our attention. We forget the example that God sets for us of love that is unconditional. A deficiency mindset is at its core a lack of faith; we stress over what we lack instead of trusting God to provide.

In Malachi 3:10 God tells us to beware that our hearts are not hard and shuttered. When He says to bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, he follows with

Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

He takes what we give with joy and multiplies it, so it becomes a blessing not only to us, but to others flowing out from us. I believe this applies not only to finances and material resources, but to emotional stores as well. Love freely and receive love in return. Forgive, and receive mercy. We must train ourselves to believe in the abundance of His provision, and not act out of perceived deficiency. In The Leadership Bible, John Maxwell lists ten differences in these two perspectives. In the coming months we will consider how these views apply to our marriages, and how our marriages can thrive when we love from an abundance mindset.

No comments:

Post a Comment