“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.” (Galatians 5:14-15)
The Indo-European roots “bheid-” and “bheidh-“, while one fricative (the ‘h’ sound) apart, essentially mean opposite. The former gives rise to words around separation. “Split” and “bite” and all the way out to “fissure” and “vent”. The latter means “to trust”. It spreads out, etymologically, into “abide” and “confide”. Things of fiscal responsibility and honesty.
This, to me, is one of those threadbare examples of black-and-white at work in the world. We get the opportunity, as Paul expresses in the top verse, to do one or the other. To strengthen our relationships through love and selfless interaction. Or to consume off our brothers and sisters in Christ, the qualities God would freely give were we to ask.
“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)
God is the most generous person in existence. One of the most important gifts we need is that slight, almost binary, change in our thinking. I find that one or the other, if it’s only “my own insight” as it says in Proverbs, is neither with Him. My efforts to do only what I think, in relation to others, most likely don’t go to the top floor. A zero-sum game as it were. In and of myself, I cannot “dredge” up the love needed to open people’s eyes and bless them as God would want. We all have those dead places in our outlook and way of thinking that need the same resurrection we receive spiritually. And don’t think you can reach them on your own. God has to show you by His Holy Spirit. I remember once praying and after a bit, getting reminded of an old acquaintance who I hadn’t completely forgiven for slights long past. This person and I had a falling out and the wounds had been layered over with time and activity. They were the furthest thing from my mind and yet after I prayed again through the things I’d done and they, I felt a release and a freedom I hadn’t known up till then.
“But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)