Tag Archives: Infinity

Scarcity Thinking Before the God of Infinite Resources

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 11:13 (NIV)

One of the things I’ve learned in this chapter-a-day journey is that God’s Message never ceases to meet me right where I am.

One of the things that I’ve learned about myself along my spiritual journey is that I have a spiritual Achilles heel called scarcity. It’s a particular form of unbelief rooted in my own toxic shame. The following passage describes me well:

Remembering that God is my source, we are in the spiritual position of having an unlimited bank account. Most of us never consider how powerful the Creator really is. Instead, we draw very limited amounts of the power available to us. We decide how powerful God is for us. We unconsciously set a limit on how much God can give us or help us. We are stingy with ourselves. And if we receive a gift beyond our imagining, we often send it back.

One reason we are miserly with ourselves is scarcity thinking. We don’t want our luck to run out. We don’t want to overspend our spiritual abundance. Again, we are limiting our flow by anthropmorphizing God into a capricious parent figure. Remembering that God is our source, an energy flow that likes to extend itself, we become more able to tap our creative power more effectively.

from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

In today’s chapter, Jesus teaches His followers about prayer. He first gives them the words commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” Then Jesus speaks to His followers about the attitude of prayer. He gets right to the heart of the scarcity thinking that Cameron describes.

Ask, seek and knock on God’s door with audacity, Jesus tells me. God is not a miserly Father to His children. God has an infinite and unlimited supply. The only limitation is my own lack of faith, my lack of trust that my Heavenly Father wants to bless me, and the cyclical loops of scarcity thinking that I allow my brain to keep playing on an infinite “repeat” mode in my head. That stinking pattern of poisonous thinking rears it’s ugly head over and over again in my head and heart.

Lord, have mercy on me.

In the quiet this morning I find myself, once again, reading exactly what I need to hear at this waypoint in my journey. Heavenly Father reminding me how limitless His love and resources are, and how limited I perceive them to be through the lenses of my shame.

Some days are a revelation just how far I still have to grow in my journey.

Have you missed the previous chapter-a-day posts from this journey through the Gospel of Luke? Click on this image and it will take you to a quick index of the other posts!

“To Infinity and Beyond”

He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
Psalm 103:12 (NLT)

According to God’s Message the following statements are true:

  • Committing one small sin makes you just as guilty as committing a million of them.
  • No sin is better or worse than any other.
  • If we confess our sin and turn away from them, God’s forgiveness is absolute.
  • In forgiving us, God removes our sin in infinite measure (see verse above).

I live in a small town known for it’s conservative world-view. I’ve learned that some people have very good memories when it comes to my moral failures. Unlike God, they remember my sins and are slow to forget. Ironically, those who claim to be the most devout Christians are also those most likely to cling to their memories of my sins and to treat me with on-going suspicion.

I’ve come to learn that the journey of faith is not only about believing in God, but also believing the truth regarding how God sees us. It can be difficult to embrace the reality that God has graciously and completely forgiven us when those who claim to be fellow believers insist on reminding us of our shortcomings and refuse to let go of their own personal judgments. I’ve learned that this shame effect is even more intense when those who cling to the memory of our past are family members or close companions. For some, the judgment of others shackles them to a sense of shame and keeps them from experiencing the reality of the abundant Life and freedom Jesus promises.

I am reminded this morning that in choosing to follow Jesus I also choose to acknowledge, accept, and embrace the reality of who I am in Jesus. I am a sinner saved by grace. My sins are washed away by the flood of His grace. God does not see the sin of those who believe, receive and follow. In the parlance of the great theologian, Buzz Lightyear, our sins have been removed “to infinity and beyond.”

God, help me this day to see myself reflected in your eyes and to live in the freedom of your forgiveness. Give me the grace to refuse bowing to my reflection in the judgmental gaze of those who desire to perpetually remind me of those things you’ve chosen to forget.