Unfriendly people look out for themselves; they bicker with sensible people. 2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing their opinion. 3 When the wicked arrive, so does contempt; with shame comes insult. 4 The words of a person’s mouth are deep waters, a bubbling stream, a fountain of wisdom.
Proverbs 18:1-4, CEB
We’ve talked recently about the need to be charitable in all things, specifically politics, and subsequently the need for mercy to be prevalently on display in our lives. These are not separate issues- they are reminders of the importance of living out our principles in the world around us. Much of what we’ve been talking about the past few days/weeks can be boiled down to our need to be “neighborly”. That may be the umbrella over “charity” and “mercy”.
In the book An Other Kingdom Peter Block, Walter Brueggemann, and Joe McKnight suggest that neighborliness rests on 3 core beliefs. The first of these beliefs is abundance. As we talk about often, our culture teaches us to live out of the principle of scarcity: there isn’t enough, and there never will be. This is a lie. God promises provision. He doesn’t necessarily promise wealth for all of his people, but simple provision. And simple provision is enough for life.
Practicing abundance means practicing the belief that there is enough. In other words, we recognize what we have instead of what we don’t have. We recognize when we have our needs provided for. When we practice this, we make room for others to have their needs provided for as well. When we believe there is enough, we’re not as tempted to take more. I mean this both spiritually and physically.
More on this tomorrow.