Scarcity Mentality

This last Sunday at Mavuno, Pst. Simon preached a great message about the scarcity mentality as part of his series ‘Cleaning Out Kenya’s Closets’. It reminded me of a sad story recently narrated to me by a Congolese friend…

Three people, a European, an American, and an African were told by God to ask Him for anything they wanted. The only condition was that whatever each got, God would also give twice the amount to his fellow countrymen. The European thought for a minute and asked God for colonies all over the world. God gave it to him but gave other Europeans twice as many colonies as his own. The American on seeing this asked for business leadership and the same process happened. The African observed all this quietly. When his turn came, he asked God to cut off one of his arms… that way his armless neighbors would never get ahead of him!

Of course being African, I don’t laugh at ‘African jokes’ – but something about this one rang true. Ever since as little school-kids we hid our answers from our neighbors lest they ‘copy’ us, we’ve grown up with this mentality that the only way I can get ahead is if I keep others behind. So we tear down those who get ahead, and we think we’re ‘winning’ only if everyone else is losing. In the last political era, we learnt to speak about ‘dividing the national cake’, as if national resources are limited and whoever gets there first needs to hoard what they get, lest others finish it for them…

We live in an incredibly blessed continent where there are more than enough resources for all of us. We need to learn to work together, using what God has blessed us with to help others get ahead, multiplying the cake, and not just dividing it. We need to move from a scarcity mentality to an abundance mentality.

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