The Hard Work of Relationships – In the Neighborhood - Wednesday, August 15th
If you love your neighbor as if
you were loving yourself you will not want to harm or cheat him, or kill him or steal from him. And you won’t sin with his wife or want what is his, or do anything else the Ten Commandments say is wrong. All ten are wrapped up in this one, to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Love does no wrong to anyone. That’s why it fully satisfies all of God’s requirements. It is the only law you need. Romans 13:9-10
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
How true it is that we struggle in some areas of life in an ongoing and constant way. Improvement in these areas is very much called for. There is a kind of tension we experience from these ongoing, constant areas of life that nag at us. This is particularly true of this week’s area of consideration: relationships.
The primary source of tension in relationships comes from the fact that people at their core are selfish. We want what we want and we want others to do what we want. The problem of tensions in relationships because of selfishness, runs through all the settings we are looking at this week. The setting for relationships we are looking at today is the neighborhood.
In the commandments of God in Scripture, the command to “love your neighbor” is a bit more encompassing than those who live in your neighborhood. But for our purposes today we are going to consider the command to “love your neighbor” just in terms of those that live in close proximity and rub shoulders with us somewhat regularly. Today’s Scripture is one of several places the command to “love your neighbor” occurs, but this one expands the implications of the command in ways that helps us understand it more fully.
We need to note that “loving your neighbor” as if
you were loving yourself, is not talking about self-love. It is just saying that you should love your neighbor the way you would want to be loved by them. Our passage connects this command with some of the ten commandments and uses them to give us ways to love our neighbors. Go back and read over these commands in our passage and then read all of them in Exodus 20:1-17 in your Bible.
Now think about the various people who live nearby and take inventory with how you are doing at loving them in terms of the ten commandments. Our passage boils it all down to this: “Love does no wrong to anyone.” Now think about your neighbors just in regard to this one sentence. What changes will you need to make going forward so that you are living selflessly and not selfishly before your neighbors? You really can do your part toward promoting good relationships in your neighborhood. Imagine if everyone was doing their part.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I admit it’s not easy to really look at myself and see how I am actually doing with loving my neighbors. I confess that I fall short and ask for your forgiveness. Help me to forgive my neighbors for past wrongs and change my heart and behavior so that “no wrong” comes from me to them. May they truly see my love and your love and be blessed. Amen!
Posted on Wed, August 15, 2018
by Ken Hart