Are we hoarding or giving?

OIP-4

We’ve got to take care of each other. Someone helped us this morning which enabled us to help someone else. That’s the way it goes. We’ve got to look out for one another.

When in trouble and things get tight, we have a tendency to do the opposite. We have a tendency to hoard. We’re afraid there may not be enough to go around. But does that sound like the Lord? The one who when He fed 5,000 people from virtually nothing had twelve baskets of food left over? Or when He told the disciples to throw the nets on the other side of the boat, they pulled up so many fish that they needed to bring in another boat, and the two boats almost sank under the weight of the catch? What does that sound like? Does that sound liked just getting by? That sounds like way more than enough.

Believe me, I’m only talking about truth here, not experience. I know nothing about this abundance thinking, because I’m a hoarder from way back. I live with what Henri Nouwen calls a scarcity reality. I look at everything from the standpoint of not having enough. And yet I follow a Lord who believes in abundance. What’s wrong with this picture? Plenty.

Not only that, it’s the kind of thinking that keeps me from being able give. If you think you give what’s left over, you will never be a giver because there will never be enough. Whatever is left over, you have to hoard for that time when you might run out. You don’t give what’s left over, you give because you know there will be more. You give because you believe. Scarcity thinkers are too full of fear to be able to give. Givers get caught up in the joy, so much so that they get greedy for this joy; they work harder and smarter so they will have more to give. They want to be like Jesus.

So during this pandemic, we need to cultivate the opposite of what is the natural tendency. We need to cultivate giving, not hoarding. Hoarding comes from fear and inaction; giving comes from faith and hard work because of the joy set before us.

This is the age of hoarding. We’re seeing it everywhere. It is the clear evidence that we are operating out of fear. For those who are following Christ and evidencing faith and compassion, we need to do just the opposite. Letting go, not holding on tight. Giving, not hoarding. Believing and full of faith, not fear.

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7 Responses to Are we hoarding or giving?

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Loved Today’s Catch!

    And this: “Hoarding comes from fear and inaction; giving comes from faith and hard work because of the joy set before us.” Amen, and wish I was better @ it!

    PS As far as this goes the theory of scarcity, which modern economic theory is built on. If you like to read a great book by a very smart professor from the Wharton School of Business that puts many holes in that theory consider reading “Unlimited Wealth” by Paul Zane Plizner yet I’m pretty sure you’ll not educate yourself Pastor John by reading that book. Simply b/c I’ve been recommended you read “The DISC Method of Understand Personalities” by a Christian author Dr. Robert Rohm for about 10 or so years & you have not – I’d absolutely positive I’d see it if you ever do read it in your writing of the Catch…

  2. Great words as always, John.
    Your confession and contrition over your shortcomings is admirable.
    But there’s one thing that niggles at me: You have confessed multiple times over the years about your lack of following through and overcoming your weaknesses.
    Yet, you continue to keep writing great words to inspire the Catch community – and presumably yourself – to go forth and do this or that and to extend and fulfill “The Gospel of Welcome – Grace Turned Outward.”
    However, you yourself keep telling us again and again that you haven’t followed through for one reason or another or or a failure somehow.
    Presumably, many who read your posts follow your example.

    Well, today is your day John.
    Now that we all know you’re a hoarder and also about your reluctance to open your clenched fist into an open hand – which you have stated is in opposition to Christ – and that “we need to do just the opposite. Letting go, not holding on tight. Giving, not hoarding. Believing and full of faith, not fear. Looking out for one another” etc.,… what are YOU going to do about it, John?

    And we’re not asking what your plans are for tomorrow or some vague distant time-frame in order to get comfortable with the notion
    What are you going to do about it right now?
    And then, what will you plan to do after that?
    Will you follow through this time? And the next time? And the next time?
    Or are you one and done?

    When will you finally decide to commit yourself to take those daily steps you keep preaching about in the Daily Catch?
    Your empathy with us “laypeople” is commendable but when will you lift yourself out of the “O woe is me” muck and start sharing with us the victories and lessons you learned when you finally decisively chose to step outside your comfort zone… and leave it behind once and for all?
    What are you going to do, John?

    As usual, you put forth great words, John.
    But, will you be a doer of your own words or just a writer/hearer?
    Please tell us what you did to fulfill your own message today.

    Please forgive my frankness but…

    Be blessed,be a blessing, be of good cheer!
    Shalom, Peace my friend…

    • jwfisch says:

      Ok. Let’s start with baby steps. Step one: I sent money via Western Union to a former homeless couple we help whenever we can when I didn’t have it to spare. It felt good and required an act of trust for what I need for today. Step two: I also reached out to an old friend (a giving of my time) and we actually created a pact to help keep track of each other concerning a problem we both have and are going to tackle together on a daily basis. Step three: Today I will be calling someone else I’ve been promising time to and haven’t delivered. So thanks for the butt kicking.

      • Excellent! There IS some fire in those old bones after all!
        Keep yourself and the Catch from lapsing into lukewarmness.
        Now, fan those flames:
        BE the prophet and inspiration God designed you to be!!!

        Be blessed, be a blessing, be of good cheer!
        Shalom, Peace my friend…
        🙂

    • Mark D Seguin says:

      May I plz add in Pastor John’s defense, which he surely doesn’t need, yet when I meet a woman on LickedIn site and after a while she asked for help w/ her some medicine for her daughter’s ear ache and I told her I simply could not afford to help her, being on a disability, but could & would pray for her, which I did and the next morning I asked Pastor John if he could help, and he did… So even thou brother Bob you’re right about Pastor John writing about his hording problem… I’ll testify of his loving kindness and willingness to opening his hand to help.. To a woman either of us knew, yet God does! Amen…

  3. CPRey says:

    The “Scarcity Mindset” is more than a concept, it is a real, scientifically-proven way of perceiving and responding to the world around us. Recommend reading the book “Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much.” First half introduces idea in a way we can all relate to – scarcity of time, of relationship, etc. and uses brain science to help us see how scarcity gives us the benefit of sharp focus (think about how a basketball team plays in the final minute of a close game – with time scarce and a need to score points); but scarcity also creates tunnel vision which distracts us from other things needing attention (think about being on a diet and sensing a scarcity of food…and all you can think about is food).

    The second half of the book pivots to the impacts of a scarcity of money, which is ever-present and tremendously confining (since money is the currency with which you can buy time and address other forms of scarcity. Scarcity of money creates a type of persistent tunnel vision that impacts our ability to think, focus on work tasks, parent and so many other things.

    Read the book or Google the authors and read/listen to what they have to say. It will help you understand and have compassion for people suffering all types of scarcity – especially financial.

  4. jwfisch says:

    Thank you. This looks interesting. It’s not quite the same way I’m using the word but it’s good to get a balance. I’m also not talking about prosperity theology, but I am talking about giving due to God’s abundance.

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