‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
-Neighbor in Hebrew is written as rea & it means companion, fellow, mate, lover, abutter & adjoin. Neighbor is a general term used in the Bible to define any other person other than self.
-God gives clear instructions on our relations with others. Hatred & grudges could emanate from disagreements in money & financial matters, pride, arguments, selfishness etc. which when harboured in the heart cause enmity. Argument has been named as the root cause of enmity in marriages, friendship, families & political arena yielding social disaster. It is important to note that one can never win an argument as most times people don’t sort for opinions but assertion. The first reaction is to get defensive in an argument for everyone reassures themselves that they are absolutely right. The winner always has self victory & looses the friends goodwill. It’s only wise to have both by avoiding the argument. As the phrase goes, better give the right to a dog & avoid being bitten by it, even killing the dog does not cure the bite. The need for vengeance sets in when our spirit is not aligned to God. We are reminded that vengeance belongs to God (Rom 12:19). Humility, self-control & forbearance play a big role in our conduct at the wake of conflict. King Solomon in Pro 17:27-28 states that; he who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. This does not limit us from correcting others. Jesus advocates for love of God, love of neighbor & love of enemies which is a fulfilment of the law & prophets.
Holy holy holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, who is & Who is to come. We thank You Lord our Savour & praise You for the gift of life. Instil in us a calm spirit to exercise humility, self-control, wisdom & remain peaceful at the wake of disagreements & strife. May Your love bind us together Lord, that peace may remain within our hearts, home, relations, neighbourhoods, friendships & nation. Amen
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