Too Little, Too Much

Monday, November 20, 2023

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. Eze. 16:49, RSV.

We use the term malnutrition most often to describe circumstances in which there is too little food or nutrients to supply the body’s requirements. We are all acquainted with emaciated faces peering out at us from the TV screen, asking for help. The malnutrition of too little.

On the other hand, we also find the malnutrition of too much, most often called overnutrition. The percentage of the U.S. population classified as overweight or obese is growing. Many have too much food, but not all.

The world’s food distribution is not equitable. Several visits to Haiti served to underscore in my mind what happens in too many places. The shelves of stores where the simple people shop are empty, or what little food is there is priced beyond their meager funds, but the storehouses of the wealthy are full.

I cannot forget the man standing just outside the circle of mothers and children waiting to receive a small package of dried milk. Obviously he didn’t qualify for the food, so he just stood and watched others receive theirs. His tattered shorts were the remnants of once-longer pants. His T-shirt had more holes than cloth. He carried a broken machete, a few sticks to start a fire, and one breadfruit.

I couldn’t help thinking of the statement: “If men today were simple in their habits, living in harmony with nature’s laws, as did Adam and Eve in the beginning, there would be an abundant supply for the needs of the human family. But selfishness and the indulgence of appetite have brought sin and misery, from excess on the one hand, from want on the other” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 47).

Too little and too much. It’s not a new problem. The question is What can you do about it? Which side will you be on when “the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat” (Matt. 25:34, 35, NIV)?

Think of someone in your town, neighborhood, or church who is struggling financially and may benefit from something healthful to eat. What can you do to meet that person’s need?

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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