When you tell another person that you will do something for them, especially when you say the words “I promise”, you are committing yourself to doing that thing at any cost. To love your neighbour means to keep your promise.
A good neighbor keeps a promise because no one likes to be disappointed. Or would you like to see your friends not show up for your birthday or a visit after they had promised they would? Or how about not meeting your friend at home when they had promised they would be home?
A promise is a strong commitment and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even the bible cautions us not to make promises we can’t keep. Jesus said that we should stand by what we say. If it is a “yes” we should stand by it. And if it is a “No” we should allow it to be a strong one and not change our minds. This is also a way to love your neighbour.
Matthew 5:37 (KJV) But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Your neighbor could be counting on you for help with something. It could be helping a classmate at school with some school work. Or helping a friend with some money. And you could be their only hope at doing or getting something. If you end up doing otherwise it could damage your friendship with them. It could also make people to label you as a bad and not trustworthy fellow. This indeed is not a way to love your neighbour.
Again, you only treat people as you would want them to treat you. Remember, no one likes to be disappointed.
May the Lord help you to make promises you can keep. May He also help you not make promises that you can’t or wouldn’t keep. Amen.
Prayer: Lord, give me the grace to not make empty promises. Empower me to make good my promises. Help me to obey the “love your neighbour” commandment. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Action point: Before you commit yourself to help someone, pray and let the Holy Spirit lead you.
Who is your neighbor? Is it the familynext to your family? The families on your street? Your friend? Your classmate? Your church friend? Who exactly is your neighbor? Why should you love your neighbor?
Let’s see what Jesus did about neighbours in the bible.
And the second command is like the first: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ Matthew 22:39 ICB
Jesus was talking about what loving someone else like you love yourself. Now ask yourself this question – “how much do I love myself?”
Thinking like this will help you take notice of how good or bad you have been treating yourself. If you are good to yourself, you will most likely treat others well and if you’re not, well, you will treat them badly.
Look at the way you think of yourself. Do you have healthy self-esteem and not self-pride. If your esteem is high, you will likely esteem others well too.
What words do you use on yourself? Are they negative words that you use to keep telling you how bad you are?
The verse above talks about how you are supposed to love someone – as yourself. And your neighbor is the nearest person to you. Not people who live beside you in the same compound or on the street. Your neighbor is whoever is close to you at any place you are.
On the bus, on the road, in class – anywhere you find yourself together with someone.
Yes, your neighbour lives beside you in the same compound or on the same street, but Jesus’ teaching wants you to see your neighbour beyond that. He wants you to see anybody you meet anywhere as your neighbour and treat them kindly just like He treats you kindly.
For instance, if you are sitting beside a young person like yourself on a bus and the person’s item falls down unnoticed by them, you should help to pick and give it to them. That’s the kind of love Jesus was talking about. Not that you ignore and look the other way.
For this series we will be looking at ways you can love your neighbour as yourself. May Jesus hi you a heart of love. Amen.
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to show much love to my neighbor In Jesus’name, amen.
Action plan: Buckle up as we learn more on this topic.