On Mount Sinai God gave Moses the commandment, “Love thy neighbor as thy self”. The golden rule for both believers and non-believers. Was God giving us a tip of how to save money? I don’t think He was, but it makes you think. By loving my neighbor as myself am I able to save money? Hmmm….maybe there is a common thread here.
At bible study this past week we got on the topic on how society has changed and people lived in such isolated communities. Our study called it “enclaves.” People don’t want to associate with their neighbors, but keep to themselves. People who have lived close to each other for years don’t even know their neighbors name or what they do. Why is that? Why are people so opposed to getting involved in other peoples lives? Is it biblical for us as Christians to live isolated and not know your neighbor? To each person and their faith I think that question can be answered by what the Holy Spirit impresses upon your heart and where you are at in your faith.
To me I think there is a starch contrast between how we live today and how people lived during the depression in terms of “community”. My family grew up in Northwest Iowa during the depression. A family that was firmly entrenched in a small farming community. One that was forced to live as a community, because of the depression and the farming lifestyle everyone had. It’s the depression area community that I think we as Christians have moved far away from. For my grandparents this was one where if your corn picker or tractor broke down, then all your friends and neighbors would rally together to help you. Instead of just seeing one guy broke down out in the field, you’d see five to 10 neighbors with their machinery out there helping you.
My neighbor (Jeremy) and I frequently talk about this type of community and how we want to live it out in our neighborhood. Just this past weekend we got five of us neighbors to go in together to rent an aerator, which we share between all of us. It cost us $50 to rent the aerator for the entire day, and ended up only costing each neighbor $10. To Jeremy and I we recognize this as one small way of knitting our neighborhood together and living a depression style community. Matthew 11:28 comes to mind for me in living this lifestyle, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Let your neighbor’s burdens be yours as well, and bring them to the Lord in prayer.
Here are a few ways you can save money by loving your neighbor as yourself:
- Cell phone – reduce your cell phone plans. Get off the unlimited texting plan and value communicating with your friends, neighbors, or family in person. To me cell phones only create more of a barrier between a person and their surroundings.
- Babysitting – sometimes your neighbors can be some of your best babysitting helpers. When you are in a jam and need a quick babysitter, then utilize your neighbor. If each of you agree to help each other out with wanting nothing in return then you can save yourself a lot of money in babysitting costs.
- Machinery – lend each other your machinery. Like neighbors did in the depression, lend each other tools and machinery and you can save each other a lot of money over time in rental costs, depreciation costs, and storage costs.
- Food – you ever have a time when you are baking and realize…oh no…I’m out of eggs or canola oil? Stop by your neighbors house and see if they have any. Can save you time (making a special trip to the store) and money (gas) from getting one small ingredient.
- Services – is there are area you are an expert in? Are you a licensed chiropractor or computer expert? Why not offer up your services to your neighbors? Who knows maybe they have some skill you can utilize to save you money too.
Do you agree with my viewpoint? What ideas do you have for sharing in your community? Why do you think we are having such a hard time with “community”?