Zero-sum, all-you-can-eat and Christianity

Some people feel that there is a scarcity in the world. News of few jobs, few natural resources and diminishing opportunities affirm this sense that the world is running out of “stuff.” Other people feel that there is an abundance in the world. The ease to spend beyond one’s means, enjoy all-you-can eat-buffets and the endless supply of information on the internet affirm this sense of abundance -- that we can have our cake and eat it too.

Christians are called by Jesus to embrace a third view of the world: there is enough. When Jesus teaches us to pray for our daily bread, he teaches us not to worry we will run out of food or conversely be irresponsible with over-indulgence. Jesus teaches us to trust that, through God, we will have enough. Having the view of “enough” is a position of faith in God.

These three different worldviews affect the way we live in the world.  A worldview of scarcity can lead us to despair and hopelessness.  A worldview of abundance can lead us to rely on our own abilities in order to “store up” a surplus and take more than our share of resources.  The Christian view of enough calls us to trust that the God who has provided for people in all times and places will provide for us today.  We do not despair and we are not irresponsible.  Instead, we hold fast to our God of daily bread.