As an M.D., I’m always reading articles, medical and otherwise, in search of help for my patients. And as a Christian, I strive to find the ultimate truth–God’s truth–in these articles.
Recently I’ve been reading about the abundance mindset and the scarcity mindset. Our attitude towards scarcity and abundance in our lives greatly influences our quality of life.
The abundance mindset is an optimistic outlook. The word “abundance” means “fullness, plenty.” It’s the kind of perspective that led Paul to say, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” (Phil. 4:13).
The scarcity mindset is a pessimistic outlook. Anxiety, lack of self-control, and even addictive tendencies can stem from the scarcity mindset. Often people with a scarcity mentality have a tough time sharing recognition, credit, power or profit—no matter who else contributed to the success.
In a word, people with the abundance mindset are “resilient.” Those with the scarcity mindset, on the other hand, often give up easily.
The difference between people with abundance mindsets and those with scarcity mindsets comes down to how they respond to pain and difficulty.
Here are nine marks of a resilient person.
1. Resilient people learn to cope with stress and adversity.
Resilience comes from exposing the lies you’re believing, and choosing to believe in yourself and something bigger than yourself. It means remembering that God is bigger than all our problems, stress, and adversity.
2. Resilient people own their short-comings.
They’re willing to be honest about why they failed and take the time to think about what didn’t work. For Christians, this comes from being “transformed by the renewing of your mind,” (Rom. 12:1).
3. Resilient people remind themselves that most of what they’re facing is temporary.
They look back to times when they overcame setbacks in the past to gain courage and perspective to overcome again. We can do this by remembering that God is the one who fights our battles. Remember, “Greater is he who is in me, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).
4. Resilient people see their fears as opportunities.
They choose to face, rather than avoid, their fears. They look ahead to the person they will be when they overcome, even in the worst of times. They know that God is greater than anything we face.
5. Resilient people pick themselves us as many times as it takes.
Benjamin Lee Vince says it this way: “The Christian life consists of falling down, getting up, falling down and getting up again.”
6. Resilient people find ways to care for others, even in the toughest of times.
Because life has taught them that “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” (Acts 20:35).
7. Resilient people maintain strong and supportive relationships.
If you’re not in a healthy community, now is the time. It’s vital, not only for your spiritual health, but also for your mental health. That’s why Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another.”
8. Resilient people search for meaning in their trouble.
When we look to God, we remember that there is always purpose in pain. Everything you go through is given meaning through the lens of eternity. Look to His Word.
“What do I do if I have a scarcity mindset?”
Is it possible to develop an abundance mindset? Yes!
Here are four ways to do that.
1. Be happy for others.
Recognize that someone else’s success does not diminish your value. The Bible says to “Rejoice with those who rejoice…So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” I Cor. 12:26
2. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Keep your eyes on Christ. Stay focused on the end goal, which is Jesus. The Apostle Paul referred to life as a race in 2 Timothy chapter four because he knew the eternal prize he was living for.
3. Search for opportunities to be generous.
I’m not just talking about money. You can be generous with your time, money, and resources.
I recently heard someone say, “giving time gives you more time.’ Spending time helping others can actually increase how much time you think you have for yourself.
You can also be generous with how you treat people. If you feel like others don’t respect you, give respect first. If you’re not receiving compassion from others, find opportunities to show compassion first. Romans 12:17 says, “Do not repay evil for evil, but repay evil with good.”
4. Keep a gratitude journal.
The scarcity mindset often looks like fear and anxiety about the future. Fight the lie of scarcity by remembering how God has come through for you in the past.
A great way to do this is to keep a journal that lists all the wonderful things God has done in your life.
Remember the words of Jesus: “If you, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him?” (Mt.7:11).