Saturday, October 3, 2015
Loving Your Neighbor
It once happened that a certain man asked Jesus WHO his neighbor was, and we have the answer in the parable of the Good Samaritan. A neighbor is anyone who happens to be near us and is in any need, distress, or danger. He may be the worst man in the land, outlawed by his own sins; still if he is near to us and needs our help, he is our neighbor, the man the commandment bids us to love. We would be willing enough to love our neighbors, if we could choose them but this we cannot do. We must let God choose the particular neighbor He wants us to love.
WHAT is it to love our neighbor? It is the loving that is hard. We could do almost anything else, short of loving unpleasant neighbors.
But love is the word, and no revised version changes it. No matter how disagreeable, unlovely, unworthy, our neighbors for the time may be, still the commandment persistently and relentlessly says to us, "You shall love him!"
Our neighbors are about us all the time, needing our love. Indeed, they touch our lives so continually, that we must guard our every look, word, and act, lest we hurt some sensitive spirit.
Some people seem to forget that other people have feelings. They are constantly saying words and doing things which give pain. True love is thoughtful. We ought to train our hearts to the most delicate sense of kindness, that we may never ever jokingly give pain to any other human being. Our neighbors have hearts, and we owe to every one of them, the beggar we meet on the street, the poor wretch we find crawling in the mire of sin's debasement, the enemy who flings his insults in our face to everyone, we owe the love that is thoughtful, gentle, and gives no hurt.
We should train ourselves to such reverence, to such regard for human life, that we shall never injure the heart of one of God's creatures, even by a disdainful look.
[J. R. Miller]
Mark 12:31 ... And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Luke 10:29-34 ... But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.❤