Treat Your Neighbor Right
On one occasion, an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “ What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Sometimes this is not very clear. Who exactly is our neighbor? And is it possible to love our neighbor as ourselves? So, the man tries to get around Jesus’ answer, thinking that he still might have a chance on his own, and he asks the question that leads to the parable. He said, “Well, who is my neighbor?” In the story that Jesus tells to answer this question, two righteous and religious people walk by the injured man and do not help him. The person that goes out of his way to help this wounded man is a Samaritan. Samaritans and Jews despised each other.
Yet, it didn’t matter. The Samaritan helped the Jew, while two righteous Jews walked by the injured man.
Each man was given an opportunity and a responsibility. The Samaritan was the only one that was the true neighbor. If we see the world through God’s eyes, with compassion, we must give aid to all who need it. What matters is that we are good neighbors. The Samaritan gave of his time, talent, treasury, and torso. We must do the same. During this time of difficulty in the world, I believe we must step up and demonstrate the love of God to all who need to feel that support.
Steps to becoming a Good Neighbor:
- Loving our neighbor means putting our needs aside and helping others in need. When we love our neighbor as we should, we are showing a selfless act, an admittance that demonstrates divine love in ways nothing else can. Showing love to our neighbor is the best example of Godliness there is.
- Be prepared to give aid to those who are suffering misfortune. A neighbor is anyone close by to where you are. Regardless of how we feel, God asks us to demonstrate His love to them. Remember the Word of God instructs us to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)
- Love is the greatest witness of Christ. Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Be the neighbor God has called you to be to those around you.
Reach out and touch someone with the love of God regardless of race, color, nationality or religious beliefs.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Eric A. Lambert, Jr., Pastor
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