Neighbors! What a pain!! Their dog dirties on my lawn and barks at every passing person and car! Their kids yell and scream all the time and throw stuff over the fence into our yard… And their music! … Blaring all the time… and their wild parties!!! And you should hear the husband… quarreling with his “wife?” all the time. And that’s not all…!!!
Hey, it’s a conversation I’ve heard from Christians about their “neighbors”!!! (And to my shame it’s a conversation I’ve participated in a time or two… or three!
Then I read Apostle Paul’s God-inspired words today in Romans 13:8-10… Felt VERY CONVICTED!!!
“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
God’s law: Summarized in two core commandments: I’m supposed to love God wholeheartedly… AND LOVE MY “NEIGHBOR” AS I LOVE MYSELF! (check out Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 along with Matthew 22:34-40; Luke 10:25-37).
Here Apostle Paul urges us NEVER to feel like we have repaid the 2nd great commandment! In fact, he informs us that if we succeed in “loving one another” (i.e. our “neighbor) we have fulfilled God’s law! Oh Lord, help me to do a good job of BOTH – Loving God and loving my neighbor! …And love as a verb, not simply an emotion!
Perhaps you, like me, are going to have to do some serious work on that “neighbor” thing!