Zero Sum Game theory is based on the principle that resources are like a pizza pie with only a limited number of pieces. This is a game theory and obviously it works like a game. For one to win, he must beat the other party. There can be no two winners. If I get a piece of the pie, what is left for others are less. Consequently, I am happy when the other person loses. I consider myself a winner only when the other person got less than what I got. Hence, I am sad when other people are getting ahead of me. This is a mindset that is based on a premise of lack. We know it can be cultural, the mindset of slaves, but we know that that is not the culture of the kingdom we belong to. In God’s kingdom, it will always be win-win because we believe in abundance.
In the story about Abraham and Lot where they had to separate to give more room for their flocks and workers, (Genesis 13:5-13) Lot had a zero- sum mentality, operating under the notion of limited resource. Abraham on the other hand is looking on the spiritual dimension and not on the physical. He believed that where God is, there is abundance. That is why he is willing to settle for the left over after Lot makes the first choice. He knows God will be with Him even in the left over, because He has a relationship with the God of abundance. It is God, not things or the place that give us an abundant life.
People who have an abundance mentality look up to God as a generous provider. A zero-sum minded person looks to his own limited ability. That is why a person who has a zero-sum mentality will always try to make the other person lose and will not be happy when the other person gets more. To win, he keeps on pushing the other person down. This may sound like your culture in the office and you say, it is full of politics. When Abraham chose what is left from Lot’s choice, he is actually blessing his cousin because he knows God is his source. In the end, it is God who blesses the one who is generous.
In the marketplace, there are winners and losers. Winners are those who make others win. One will know a winner when he sees one. He will be your cheer leader when you are getting ahead. He puts his customers and client’s interest over his and always looks for a win-win arrangement. On the other hand, you can spot a loser who always sees to it that the other party loses in the deal for him to win. It is always win-lose for him. If he is your employee, don’t expect him to work more than expected. You buy a product with warranty and then you get tired running after the company just trying to get what was promised to you. Most of them don’t last very long, because customers are always right. Of course, God knows too.
What does an attitude of abundance do to us? What does a spirit of scarcity do to us?