Thursday, November 24, 2016
Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we were able to choose the kind of people whom we want living next to us? However, as much as we would like to, we cannot hand pick our neighbours. Life would be beautiful if we were surrounded by pleasant, caring, and God-fearing neighbours. Realizing that we do not live in a community among people of our choosing, how can we strive to live with our neighbours according to the Word of God?
The wise man, Solomon eloquently states what our attitude should be toward our neighbor, “He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace.”(Proverbs 11:12, NKJV).
The passage above instructs us to be wise, pointing out to us that the lack of wisdom will cause us to dislike our neighbors, but understanding promotes peace. Isn’t that scripture somewhat harsh on us, especially knowing that we could be living among people who are unpleasant, uncaring, and who are not Christians? Why are we the ones being asked to be neighbourly? The Bible is replete with counsels on being neighbourly. Below are two instructive readings that will encourage the reader. They highlight potent reasons to be neighbourly.
The first reason, “Do not devise evil against your neighbor, for he dwells by you for safety’s sake” (Proverbs 3:29, NKJV).
The above scripture points out one of the benefits our neighbors receive from living near us. The benefit is protection. In fact, this is mutual. We both benefit by living near each other. This is one of the main pillars of a neighborhood crime watch; each looking out for the other. Protection cultivates goodwill among neighbours. It creates a bond that signifies love and care among neighbours. Actually, Jesus modeled the characteristics of being a good neighbour where He did good wherever He went. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, and taught the way of righteous….
The second reason for always being neighbourly is “Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away” (Proverbs 27:10, NKJV). This was quite evident during the passage of Hurricane Matthew through The Bahamas. A sister of the Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist Church testified of the kindness of a neighbor who sheltered approximately 30 dispossessed persons including her daughter and herself during the height of the storm when they sought refuge from the sea surge.
Let us strive to be more neighbourly by living among others according to God’s Word. When we do this, it will serve as a protection not only for us but also our families in times of trouble. More importantly, the way we live among our neighbors can be a powerful testimony of God’s love. They may fall in love with the God of our salvation, because we were Christ-like in our interactions with them.
The above article was written by Drexel Deal, from Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist Church. He is visually impaired. Photo on the right.
Pleas see article link below: