I had been wanting to read Daring Greatly for a while and when my counselor recommended I read it, I quickly ordered it and dove into the pages. And Brene, in typical fashion, called me out from page one. If you haven’t yet read this book, I would highly recommend you do so.
What I appreciate about Brene Brown is her ability to satisfy my logical brain that loves research and study and my narrative brain that loves story. Her conclusions are based on her research but grounded in the reality of her story. She didn’t just learn about the things she writes about from a dispassionate, detached perspective, but is actually living this out.
How do we reconcile the scarcity world with our abundant God?
In church, we are taught verses about abundance (Philippians 4:19) and how God does exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). These verses sound really good when we quote them to ourselves and others. They are so encouraging and wonderful and completely true, but I’ve been finding myself asking if I’m currently living out of that place of abundance. I might be able to quote these verses, but do I live like I believe them?
Currently, we live in a culture of scarcity, which is directly tied to shame and our unhealthy habit of comparison. I know for me, my default setting is to focus on my lack, not my abundance. I tend to see first everything that I’m missing out on, not all that I have, something that Brene calls out.
“…to grow a relationship or raise a family or create an organizational culture or run a school or nurture a faith community, all in a way that is fundamentally opposite to the culture norms driven by scarcity, it takes awareness, commitment, and work…every single day. … We’re called to “dare greatly” every time we make choices that challenge the social climate of scarcity.” Daring Greatly, p. 29
When I read that passage the other day, I had to stop and sit in that for a minute. Our entire culture is screaming at us that we’re not enough—from the ads we see, to the social media trap, to the neighbor, coworker, relative, or friend who’s just a little more ______ than you—the scarcity mindset is everywhere. And it can be hard to extricate ourselves from that mindset because of its pervasive nature.
But we’re not without hope.
We can renew our minds (Romans 12:1-2) and meditate on what God has to say about us instead of what we (or others) have to say about us. We can choose to follow him into the truth that he is more than enough even if our surroundings might say something different. We can tell comparison to take a hike and venture deeper into relationships with others even if we’ve been burned before.
The truth is that choosing to believe what the Lord has said about us instead of the voice of never _______ enough, is immensely brave. And we are called to live bravely.
How has the voice of scarcity crept into your life?
What’s one brave step you can take today?