Encouragement, Issues of the Day

Do I Really Have to Love my Neighbor?

images-5Sometimes I wish Jesus had picked an easier second commandment to follow like not worshipping idols. That would be really easy to do these days. I think it would provoke me to no end to bow down to a statue and thus, I would not suffer in my flesh or my emotions in obedience. He didn’t give us that option, however.

Love your neighbor, let’s see…the one that screams, yells and swears at his kids so loud that we can hear him in our house? Can’t wait until those kids grow up.

The one that burns copper wire in his burning barrel at night while my wife and I choke on the fumes in our bedroom? Geez, get a real job.images-4

The one that can’t pick up a stick when mowing or when he does throws it in my yard? That lazy one, Lord?

Or, how about the one that refused to allow me to pray for him when he lost his job because he wanted to “collect unemployment” for a few months. Pride-filled arrogance.

Then there was the neighbor who was a pastor, but refused to talk to me because of what he believed to be our beliefs on the Holy Spirit. Boy, won’t he be miserable in heaven?

What about those neighbors’ who are Muslim, do I have to love them?

What about that neighbor who deals drugs, him?

How about the two young women who live together and I think they’re, well…you know. Do I have to talk to them?

And what about that neighbor who walks  by all the trash in his yard everyday, that one too?images-3images

Yes, all of these without exception. Love them like you love yourself. That means help them, serve them, build a relationship with them, bake them treats and sow the truth of the gospel, the good news, into their lives. It isn’t enough to be just a “good neighbor.” We represent another kingdom and we are responsible to share that kingdom with them in love. Ask the Holy Spirit for favor and ways to love unique to your neighbor’s need. You’ll not regret it.


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