The most successful people in the world have one commonality. There’s something within them that allows them to push forward, to explore new ideas, to recover from setbacks and discouragements, to innovate, and to continue faithfully over the long haul.
Successful people have an abundance mentality.
An abundance mentality believes that more is possible. That possibilities are limitless. People with an abundance mentality spend more time thinking about opportunities than complaining about limitations.
On the other hand, unsuccessful people live with a scarcity mentality.
They believe that dreams should be manageable. That you need to fight for what’s yours, since there’s only so much to go around. Scarcity mentality rarely inspires. It almost never innovates. And a scarcity thinker is just kind of a bummer to be around.
For Christians, an abundance mentality makes all the sense in the world. Think about it. We claim to serve the infinite Creator of the universe. His resources are literally limitless.
Even if what you need does not exist, God has the ability to speak it into existence. That’s what he did with the earth and everything in it.
This isn’t better living through positive thinking. This is faith in the very real God who has very real power. Faith in the God who is able to do immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). And not just for your own benefit. But so that you can bless the world in brand new and incredible ways.
So how can we develop an abundance mentality? For most people, it doesn’t come naturally (myself included). We all have fears, insecurities, areas where our faith needs to grow. But if we aren’t intentional, those impulses will control us.
So here are 4 practical ways to rid yourself of a scarcity mentality so that you can begin thinking abundance.
1. Practice generosity.
It may seem counterintuitive, but one way to develop an abundance mentality is to regularly practice generosity.
What’s interesting is that a scarcity mentality isn’t primarily found in people who have less. It’s more likely to be found in people who are stingy with what they have, regardless of how much or how little that is.
But generosity rewires your brain. It reorients your soul. It teaches you that God can be trusted.
Because you can’t outgive God. I’ve never been generous and gone without as a result. I mean, I’ve been generous and ended up with less resources than I would have liked to have. But I still had everything I needed, even as I was able to enjoy the spiritual blessing of giving some of what I had away.
One way to see if God really is the God of abundance is to start giving what you have away. See if he isn’t able to do more good with your resources than you ever imagined. All while still taking care of your needs at the same time.
As you give more, you are able to see how much God is able to give through you.
2. Be comfortable with failure.
Sometimes our scarcity mentality shows itself in the form of risk aversion. We’re afraid to take risks, because we’re afraid that we’ll fail.
And so even though we may sense a prompting by the Holy Spirit to step out in a bold new way, to seek to further the good news about Jesus in ways we haven’t yet tried, to step away from something that’s ineffective or unhealthy, we don’t. We stay where we are, because it’s safer that way.
We think that if we fail, then it was all a waste. We don’t want to spend our lives trying and failing and getting our hearts broken. So while we might have a vision within us, we stay away.
But if the dream is as big as God wants it to be, then it’s too big for you. And stepping into it requires a faith in the God who is bigger than you.
The good news is that you aren’t the only person who has ever done that. We come from a rich history of people who resisted a big calling on their life. Moses, Jonah, Zechariah, to name a few. And it’s not too late for you to increase your faith, just like it wasn’t too late for them.
God never seems to rebuke those who try and fail. But he does tend to have hard words for people who don’t have enough faith to even try (see the examples above).
Abundant thinkers know that failure is part of the faith process. We’re not perfect. But we serve the God who is perfect and who loves us perfectly.
3. Pray audaciously.
Sometimes, our prayers can be so puny. We should train ourselves to pray with impact. Pray with some boldness. With some gusto. Pray audacious prayers.
People with an abundance mentality pray as if God is able to give abundantly. They pray to see the miraculous. They pray to see the impossible.
And this isn’t me encouraging you to pray for God to make you rich, comfortable, respected, or famous. Those prayers are too small. They’re too self-centered.
Let’s ask God for BIG things. Let’s ask for God to transform our communities. To change the hearts of people we think will never change. To make his name known among the people in our sphere of influence. To provide new and exciting avenues to fulfill our purpose that we can’t even think of yet.
James says this.
“You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 4:2b-3)
Those are such powerful words: you do not have because you do not ask.
If you would only ask for God to do big things, and if only you would ask unselfishly and with a heart only to see his glory, then you would begin to remove the word impossible from your vocabulary.
If you would only ask for God to do big things, and if only you would ask unselfishly and with a heart only to see his glory, then you would begin to remove the word impossible from your vocabulary. Click To Tweet
4. Cultivate gratitude.
As we seek to increase our faith, we need look no further than the testimony of our own lives. I can guarantee that God has revealed himself in your life in ways that are undeniable. And if you really stop and think about it, he has done it time and time again.
In order to develop and abundance mentality, we need to recognize the abundance that we have already received. We need to cultivate gratitude.
It’s easy to see that God is able to do the impossible when you remember all the ways he has already done the impossible in your life.
Keep track of when God’s power is made evident in your life. Choose to remember it. Never get tired of thinking about it. Never get tired of talking about it. Cultivate an active sense of gratitude.
Your friends and family should almost grow weary of hearing the stories of how God has been faithful in your life. They should be able to recite your stories of God’s faithfulness from memory. What you talk about most gets implanted on your heart. So implant gratitude on your heart.
Then you won’t be so surprised the next time God does the impossible. And you won’t be so worried when you face an impossible situation.
Jesus said that he came that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).
But do you actually believe that?
If you do, then it’s time to start developing an abundance mentality.