Love My Neighbor as Myself?
A good neighbor is a fellow who smiles at you over the back fence, but doesn't climb over it. Arthur Baer
Several from our mid-week life group missed our meeting but the stimulating topic offered the mere seven of us much to chew on and discuss. The living room overflowed with chatter.
Sunday's sermon topic, Love Your Neighbor as Yourself, ignited stories of hard-to-love neighbors we encounter who we live near, work with or brush elbows with throughout our day. I find myself dwelling on the Bible verse we noted in Luke 10:27 which got our conversation rolling:
"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."
The key for me, "as yourself," sparked a memory of my neighbor who lives down the street whom I've written about in the past. She ignores boundaries. Her frequent visits with her kids in tow who wander throughout my home touching everything reminded me of miserable times. I courageously shared my experience in the group discussion hoping it would end soon so we could wrap up in prayer and indulge in the goodies on the dining room table. Donuts never called my name strongly like that!
When I think about that scripture especially "as yourself," the word respect comes to mind. Respect of another's time, their home, their stuff...it all shows love.
Confrontation Always Hurts
I had to love myself enough to confront my neighbor and address that word respect or should I say lack of it! Of course the relationship with her changed when I admitted I did not feel respected, but honestly, I'm good with that. I had the courage to tackle it.
So we love others the way we want to be loved. Thankfully, my neighbor and I forgive even when we don't see eye to eye. No wonder some folks put up walls around their hearts when it comes to relationships. It's hard to live with others, but it's also hard to live alone.
Mae West gets it. I'll leave you with her words:
Love thy neighbor - and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating,
it will be that much easier. Mae West