May. 23, 2019

Rough. Rough.

 

“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” Romans 15:2

Who is my neighbor? Someone asked Jesus the same question in the story of the Good Samaritan. Who is our neighbor?

The verse shared with this blog goes totally against culture; especially today’s culture. We seem so focused on what we think, what we want, what we need, and what can help us that we have forgotten Christ’s teaching on being a good neighbor.  

I believe the formula for being a good neighbor starts with kindness and concern; sacrifice and humility; and, of course, authentic, Christian love. We don’t seem to love much these days. We seem to exhibit a lot of hate. We mask the hate calling it “principles” or “political preferences” or “ideology.” When we think more highly of ourselves than we should and we put others beneath our feet to be stepped on and overlooked, we practice an attitude and promote an atmosphere of hate.

If we are so naïve as to think our neighbors are only those who live in homes on each side of us or perhaps across the street, we do not understand Jesus at all. Christ cared for all people. Christ laid down his life for all people. The only people who seem to rub Jesus the wrong way were the religiously arrogant and totally misguided “excluders” (those who deny someone access to or bar someone from a place, group, or privilege).

If you want to get mad at somebody, follow Christ’s example. Start with those who are barking scripture more than they’re lending a helping hand or applying a compassionate heart. This world is a rough place. We do not need more smooth talkers. We need more people concerned about their neighbors’ wellbeing rather than those concerned for their own personal platforms.