‘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
A man who flatters his neighbor Spreads a net for his feet.
-Everybody likes to be appreciated but not everyone likes flattery. King Solomon cautions against neighbors who flatter for by this they set a trap upon the opponents feet. It is therefore necessary to differentiate between flattery & appreciation. Flattery is cheap praise, counterfeit, shallow, selfish, universally condemned & insincere. It is telling people what they want to hear which most often is false. Appreciation on the other hand is genuine, universally accepted & sincere. Appreciation comes from the heart out while flattery comes from the teeth out. Neighbors who flatter most often do it for immediate or accrued future benefits & thus caution should be exercised. “The ungodly walk according to their own lusts with swelling & flattering words to gain advantage” Jude1:16. Honest appreciation comes after the realisation that every man is superior in a way & by that acceptance we learn from them & edify their spirit.
Lord our Father, our protector & guide. You Who test the heart’s of all men. Protect us from those who come into our lives for no good but to cause us pain. Shelter us with Your pinions & hedge of fire from all evil. We thank You for this far that You have taken us. Go before us in all our relations & all we intend to undertake in our lives. Instil in our hearts humility that we may be willing to learn from others without regarding their social status. All glory & praise belong to You Father. Amen
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”
-It is salient to make the other person feel important for their good & the good of others. Self interest should be considered in moderation & special important given to others. Even Christ did not please Himself, He sought not his own pleasure, ease & profit but He did it for all mankind for the glory & honour of the Father. Apostle Paul in Eph 4:31-32, advocates for the work of edification by putting away all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour & evil speaking, but sharing in kindness, tenderness, love & forgiveness just as Christ forgave us. We thereby share Gods love, peace & mercy with one another, at the same time edifying Christ for we are one in Him.
Oh Lord our Father, help us to find unity with each other, to live together by comforting & encouraging one another in Your love. Illuminate in us Your light that leads the world to you. Teach us to be good role models to the people around us, so that when they see Your love in us, they would want to know You more & more. Amen
So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
-Jesus was asked by a certain lawyer to define a neighbor & told the parable of the good Samaritan. In the parable a certain man was stripped naked, beaten up, wounded by thieves & left for dead. Some people passed by & were not willing to help among them a priest & Levites. Later a Samaritan had compassion on the man, nursed his wounds & took him into an inn for further medical administration. Priests & Levites lived in Jerusalem but the Samaritans were public enemies of the Jews as they were excommunicated. When his immediate neighbors abandoned him, the Samaritan, a stranger had compassion on him & acted with kindness. When we sacrifice our time, money, skills etc. for others disregarding their tribe, nationality, gender, social class, colour, in recognizing that we all equal in the eyes of God, we exhibit good neighborhood.
May Your compassion fill our hearts Father, that we may exhibit acts of mercy & kindness in our daily lives. May we follow Your word in true discipleship that we may be good neighbors to those who need us most disregarding our differences. Help us when we have heavy burdens, all the sick & suffering in hospitals & at home to cast all our burdens upon You Lord, for You are our only hope. All glory & praise belong to You, forever. Amen
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
-Jesus exposes the law of love to us by two laws in one, in which all the 669 laws are summarised into the law of love. Love also summarises the messages by the prophets in the Old Testament. By loving God & our neighbor we drift away from sinfulness when we submit our lives to Him Who is love. Self love is precedent as one cannot love another is he doesn’t love himself. The love of neighbor should also be to the same degree as oneself.
-Neighbor in Hebrew is written as rea & it means companion, fellow, lover & adjoin. Neighbor is a general term used in the Bible to define any other person other than self. Jesus defines a neighbor as a person who shows compassion to a fellow humankind. He brought this out clearly in the parable of the good Samaritan; who was a stranger in the land but had mercy on a suffering man. This clears explains that a neighbor is not the person who lives next to you but one who offers help when required to. Sacrifice of time, money, information & skills for others disregarding their tribe, nationality, gender, social class & colour, is key in good neighborhood. On the flip side, some people sort for disagreements leading to enmity in the bulwark of their interactions. One of the major causes of disagreements is arguments which has caused enmity in families, friendships, marriages & states. In an argument, the first human reaction is to get defensive for everyone reassures themselves that they are right; making it impossible to win an argument. The winner always has self victory & looses the friends goodwill. It’s only wise to have both by avoiding the argument. A man of understanding is of a calm spirit & a fool is considered wise when he keeps his peace & shuts his lips. Others flatter their opponents to set a trap upon their feet. Flattery is defined as counterfeit, shallow, selfish, insincere & cheap praise for selfish gain. Flattery therefore belongs to the ungodly who walk according to their own lusts with swelling words to gain advantage, Jude1:16. Everybody likes to be appreciated which makes one feel important for their personal benefit & good of others. Honest appreciation comes when one realises that every man is superior in a way & by that acceptance; we learn from them & edify their spirit. Just as Christ did not please Himself but sort to profit all mankind for the glory & honour of the Father, we should also seek other people’s interest & not only our own. By doing this, we edify our neighbors by putting away all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking & share in kindness, tenderness, love, peace, mercy & the forgiveness of Christ.
Holy Spirit our Helper, instil in us the fruit of love that we may love You & our neighbor as ourselves. Help us to refrain from arguments, flattery, bitterness, jealousy & evil speaking, so that your wisdom may be abundantly bestowed in our hearts. Save all the broken marriages, friendship, relations & help us in all our needs. Forgive us all our trespasses & help us to forgive those who offend us. May we bear each one another with a quiet spirit & always seek to do unto others as we would like them to do unto us. All glory, honour, praise, victory, belongs to You Lord, now & forever. Amen