Here is something I’ve been thinking about, a new idea for a new year: Cultivating a mindset of abundance, rather than a mindset of scarcity. I don't mean becoming a mindless consumer, flashing a credit card, shouting, “Whee! I have SO MUCH money that I can buy useless crap every time I set foot in a retail store! And so what that we will never be able to retire. At least we will have a fondue pot, lava lamps in multiple colors, and big-screen TVs in every room!”
I spent several years when we were barely getting by with a scarcity mindset, and it was no fun at all for me. Some people may enjoy the “frugal down to the bone” lifestyle, and I’m all for saving money UNLESS it causes you to be stingy and start asking people for gas money when you give them a short ride, or other stories of tightwads I’ve heard.
No—what I mean is, for my family, having a mindset of abundance means buying the best quality we can afford of the things we need (which of course means knowing what we really do need); enjoying the things we want that we CAN afford; and blessing the kingdom of God and other people. Not hoarding, is what I’m saying. Being a good steward of the resources we have, then trusting God to provide for us while we help take care of others.
Living with abundance also means choosing to enjoy what you already have, and not hoarding it in case you need it “someday.” My late grandparents’ house is full of unopened gifts—packages of sheets, pajamas, scented soap—that they saved for “later” because they felt it was too good to use, that what they already had was not threadbare enough. "Later" never came. I’m glad they were careful with their money, that their worst fear (running out of money in their old age) didn’t come true—but I wish they had enjoyed the gifts, that didn’t cost them anything, while they had a chance.