While trying to decide on a “Friday post”, my mind was captured by the thought of loving your neighbor. As I’ve mentioned previously, I have a lovely new neighbor right next door that get’s me! My husband would tell you “that’s a hard thing to do!” LOL! Yet, just a stones through away is someone who is generous beyond words, thoughtful, a great cook, and speaks my language. She is “easy” to love.
Let me also say that I have some other terrific neighbors that don’t live quite as close in my neighborhood. The difference there is proximity. There are also “neighbors” that live a few doors down that I have never met. If I passed them in the grocery store, I wouldn’t know who they were.
The point I am trying to make is that the word neighbor includes a lot of people. Actually, as a Christian, it includes everyone. We are all “neighbors” in this world. Here’s the thing, loving your neighbor isn’t rooted in a feeling about someone. It’s roots go much deeper into how we treat everyone!
I have been reading C.S. Lewis book Mere Christianity (Copyright 1952, C.S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.). The chapter I just completed is about charity. In this chapter Lewis talks about charity not being tied to feelings. Basically, you don’t have to like someone to be charitable.
To quote Lewis, “The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbour; act as if you did.” He goes on to say “Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance.”
If I am honest, my neighbor next door is easy to love but loving all the “others” is often quite hard!
In my community, just like many others all over the United States, there has been a dramatic increase in murder and violent crimes. I cannot help but think that what is missing is “loving your neighbor”.
Some may think this idea too simple. However, it is very hard to harm that which you “love”. My hope is that in terms of “loving your neighbor”, we all simply “act as if we do”!