And Who Is My Neighbor?

058Once again, I was pinned to my seat by Sunday’s sermon…this is happening WAY TOO OFTEN!  Wonder what that means?  Uh, oh!

The scripture reading was from Luke 10 where an expert of the law asked Jesus what he had to do in order to inherit eternal life because, of course, we humans have anything to do with our heavenly inheritance, yea right!

….He (the expert of the law) answered: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied.  “Do this and you will live.”  But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  Luke 10:27-29

How often have we asked, “And who is my neighbor?”

I mean, come on, I want to know exactly who I’m supposed to help and be nice to in order to earn eternal life!  UGH!!!  Not the way it works, Meg!!!

However, isn’t that what most of us hope for?

  1. We want a list of To Do’s to accomplish so we don’t have to always be kind.
  2. We think we can earn a ticket to Heaven by doing certain things and not doing others.
  3. We think we actually have something to do with our worthiness of eternal life.
  4. We long for control of our own destiny because we would always make ourselves feel good and be placed first.
  5. We think we know more than God does.
  6. Basically, we don’t want to do any more than we have to because that takes time away from serving ourselves.

The truth is that we have been given a gift that we are not worthy of, nor do we deserve.  We are ALL deserving of death because of our sins.  And none of us are better than the other.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

These are hard lessons to learn and difficult concepts to accept because we desperately want to be RIGHT…without the effort it takes or the sacrifice required.  We are selfish, greedy, egotistical, narcissistic, proud, arrogant, and every other word found in the Thesaurus for ‘self-centered’.

We tend to forget that there has only been One who was without sin and He is our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  Our names were never mentioned….

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

The point we seem to miss is that we were not placed on this earth so that we could be awesome!  I know, I know…I have a hard time with this one, too!!!

Instead, we were: “…created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (See Ephesians 2:10)

Nothing is said about being created to have a fun, great life or to make gobs of money or to rise as far as possible up the social ladder.  We were created to do GOOD WORKS.

You might wonder what these good works should be.  We can find answers in the top two commandments:

  1. Love you God.
  2. Love your neighbor.

Loving our God means responding to His call and living out His Will.  Loving our neighbors is…doing whatever we can for everyone we meet every day that needs our help, mercy, love, kindness, and hope.  Not so we can get into Heaven, but so we can live as God and Jesus ask us too.

Are you okay with who your neighbor is?

Some Wisdom for Today:  Proverbs 31:8-9 – Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

2 Responses

  1. Yep, I’m right there struggling. My neighbor was the person at the car line dropping off kids at school that I got angry at this morning. They were just sitting there holding up the works and trying to make me late to my work (
    I imagined that was their motive). My thoughts and things I said in the car (just myself, kids were already inside the school)… Not so loving. I spend the rest of the trip to work wondering why I got so bent over it. Sad state here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>