Good neighbors

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April 9, 2018

In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Scott Wagoner reflects on a neighbor he once had “who owned just about every tool that ever existed.” During the seven years that they lived next to each other, Scott learned to check with his neighbor any time he needed a tool, because whatever it was, “It was likely he had one, and I was welcome to use it.” 

This is an important part of being a good neighbor – generosity. Scott writes that his neighbor’s “generosity of time and tools was one of the blessings of living beside him and his wife. He epitomized Proverbs 3:28 . . . . I was never told to come back the next day; his generosity was immediate and genuine. If it was within his power to help me, he never withheld.”

Have you considered how frequently the power to give or to withhold is under your control? I started to think back over my interactions yesterday. A friend brought me doughnuts. Another friend, during a phone conversation, asked about my parents. Someone dropped off a book they’d recommended earlier in the week. These are little things. All the ways we move toward or away from one another, all the ways we are present or distant, open-handed or closed off – they add up.

Scott notes that the book of “Proverbs invites us to consider living a life of generosity and to be good stewards of the power we possess. We may possess skills or resources that will benefit others around us. Do I offer them freely or do I withhold?”

Scott leaves us with this question as a challenge: “To whom can you offer goodness today?”

Scott also offers this prayer: “Lord, grant us generous hearts so that we may not withhold your goodness.”

Eric Muhr

P.S. In this tenuous year of transition, Barclay Press must raise $25,000 in order to remain a going concern. So far this year, we’ve received $15,795 in donations and $3,600 in pledges, getting us 77 percent of the way to where we need to be by the end of the year. Thank you for your continuing prayer, for your words of encouragement, and for your support.


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