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
Two days ago we began talking about the foundational principles for neighborliness. The first of these is belief in abundance. Abundance is the opposite of scarcity. We believe that there is enough instead of believing that there will never be enough. We closed by suggesting this could be both a spiritual and physical discipline. How is it a physical discipline?
Right now we have a support group meeting before our services on Saturday nights. Their goal is to hold each other accountable in issues of mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. One of the issues that’s come up in that group is food. How do we treat food? How do we respond to it? Often we address food when we feel we’ve gotten too fat, therefore we need to eat less of it. And then, if/when we’ve lost weight we can sort of go back to our old patterns of gorging ourselves. I do this myself.
What if we applied this belief about abundance to something like food? There is enough, and there will be enough. I don’t need to worry about taking in more now for fear that there might not be enough later. Wouldn’t that philosophy, in theory, create more? In this way, belief in abundance leads to more abundance.
Now, obviously, we do have friends who struggle even to have enough food. This is a problem and one that we have worked in various ways to alleviate as a community. Part of the reason we’re able to do that is because we have a number of people willing to sacrifice some of what they have in order that someone else can have what they need. That is the nature of abundance.