Good Consumers

Because there were so many Filipino dishes, we all had a little taste of everything and for those whose stomachs were not yet bursting they went back for seconds of the dish they loved the most.

Deuteronomy 24:1-22

Reference:  v.19  When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it.  Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. (NIV Bible)

Explore:  The first time I visited the Philippines was an eye opening experience.  I can remember going with our short-term mission team to visit a training college.  During this day trip the staff provided us lunch, which was an amazing smorgasbord of delicious Filipino dishes.  This was our first chance to taste all the wonderful delights of this country and so we all dug in.  In fact, because there was so many dishes we all had a little taste of everything and for those whose stomachs were not yet bursting they went back for seconds of the dish they loved the most.  When we had all had our fill and could eat no more we were politely asked whether we would mind leaving the table.  This was fine as there was little chance that we would be able to eat much more and we had already done a pretty good job of eating most of the food anyway.  What we didn't realise was that as soon as we left the table all the dishes were brought together, freshly cooked rice was carried in and the college staff ate the food that we had left.  After the staff finished they then called the workers in from outside and they ate whatever was left after that.  When us Aussies realised what had happened we were so ashamed that we had eaten so much.  We had consumed more than we needed which had left only a little for our hosts and the workers.  It was a big lesson for us about Filipino hospitality and Australian ignorance.

Application:  As humans we are good at consuming.  We buy so much we go in to debt, we waste so much we go in to drought and we eat so much that obesity becomes the norm.  We are very good at consuming.  And yet we don't realise that our consumption does have an impact on other people.  Whether it's those that are close to us or whether it's the next generation who we haven't yet met, our consumption has an impact on others.  We may not be able to see it happen as quickly as I did after our team had eaten so much Filipino food, however we must not be naive to think that what we do is an isolated event.  Even amongst all the laws in Deuteronomy God calls us to consider our actions and the impact they have on others.  Our consumption can possibly affect us, those around us and those who are to come. 

Prayer:  Lord, help us not to hoard and consume everything within our possession.  May we hold all things loosely so that all people may enjoy your blessings.  Amen.

What are you holding on to too tightly?  What more can you give to others?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.