Are our neighbors JUST our family in our home, JUST those we pass on a day to day basis, JUST those willing to give back in a relationship? I believe that through the ability to travel and communicate worldwide that we are neighbors to ALL. Loving your neighbor does not always look pretty either...just like you have to "get dirty" to plant a beautiful garden you may need to sacrifice something for the sake of someone.
25 Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. “Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?”
26 He answered, “What’s written in God’s Law? How do you interpret it?”
27 He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.”
28 “Good answer!” said Jesus. “Do it and you’ll live.”
29 Looking for a loophole, he asked, “And just how would you define ‘neighbor’?”
30-32 Jesus answered by telling a story. “There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.
33-35 “A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’
36 “What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?”
37 “The one who treated him kindly,” the religion scholar responded.
Jesus said, “Go and do the same.”
I have seen so many facebook posts about not having the time, energy, or willingness to help those who need it...I have seen too many posts criticizing the needs of others...I have seen TOO MANY CHRISTIANS saying that it is not their responsibility or that they cannot afford it as they sip their starbucks...um no
Jesus is very clear as to who our neighbors are and how we are to help. There are MANY verses to reference to on this topic!!! My favorite verse is our "family verse" for the year Proverbs 3:27-29
Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
your hand is God’s hand for that person.
Don’t tell your neighbor “Maybe some other time”
or “Try me tomorrow”
when the money’s right there in your pocket.
Don’t figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor
when he’s sitting there trusting and unsuspecting.
As I was "walking down my road" last week I came across a friend of mine who looked to need help. I very easily could have "walked past" and thought to myself "someone else can deal with her"...or "it does not effect me". Over the past year I have gotten to know this girl, she is amazing and sweet and has been through more tough stuff in her short years then many of us will ever even see. She had a very tough path to travel last year and I was privileged to be allowed to travel along with her. It appeared last week that this girl may be starting down the same "path" as last year. I had a decision to make...Do I keep the peace and "walk by" or do I value life over peace and make some hard decisions. Now just as the Samaritan had to sacrifice his time, possessions, and money along with other things this decision would require me to sacrifice a friendship, time from my family, and resources. I am still in the middle of this so there is no peace to be seen but I would not trade this mud for a nicely manicured lawn any day!!! When God asks something of us it may cost us in the here and now but the worth of it so surpassed the time and possible inconvenience!!
So dear friends and family I ask you to value your neighbor more then clean dishes, a spotless house, having every toy and being a super parent. I believe our children are taught more through watching us say yes to God then keeping them in a well kept little bubble of total convenience.