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


Comments

  1. Mae West! Hahha ...;-) love that quote.

    I'm glad you had the talk with your neighbor. Honesty is love. Maybe she just never thought about how it made you feel because she would have been okay with someone doing that to her. Different strokes for different folks.

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  2. Glad you talked with your neighbor. That can be so hard sometimes!

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  3. Your attitude of addressing the neighbor to discuss how you feel about her behavior, is the right one. Respect is key in any relationship.
    I Like A. Baer's quote - his words are so true!

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  4. What a wonderful example you've shared! Too, too often I've been guilty of swallowing my own feelings, so as not to offend.

    " ...Thankfully, my neighbor and I forgive even when we don't see eye to eye." This so reminds me of a stupid tiff between me and my closest friend at the office. (During the election, go figure.) Diana called me out on a FB public forum. In turn (in anger), I 'unfriended' her. Tho' months later I desperately longed to apologize, I never summoned the courage. Then, on my last day she handed me a long letter ... perhaps the sweetest one I've ever received. In part, it read: "I feel like sisters with you in many ways. And while we may not have agreed on some things, I don't think either of us ever gave up on the other. Like sisters."

    It feels so good to tear down those walls around our hearts!

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  5. First off, praying all is well with you sister Mary...You know your post hits me. You've heard about my struggles. But you also talked about the importance of putting boundaries, not in a confrontational way but in the manner of the Spirit. That's my prayer...For His discernment always. It's truly mentally stressful to deal with the "unlovable ones" most of the time. I see that when we speak of truth, it is "pride" from the person being told to that gets in the way. So, that also reminds me that truly the battle is against those nasty enemies. So many blinders. There's a lot to digest here and I'm sure, I qualify as " those who sometimes put walls in the heart" and it's not fun especially when I'm not even aware of it, just because it makes it easier for me to not deal with such "unlovable ones"...That is another struggle...Because I'm a lot happier that way (being a very private person who just wants to live a simple and quiet life). Then again, I know the Lord commands us to learn to love others. So, I know, He's also confronting me many times...Thank God, He is the One Who never stops loving though I can be stubborn...

    Ahhh...thank you for this sister... Love the quote but most of all, the verse that is full of life...Hugs to you and God bless.

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  6. We were just talking about the definition of the word love recently as well. It makes for great conversation and deep pondering indeed. Your words are always deep and thought-provoking. I would say a parents love is one of the deepest kind of loves on Earth but of course correction is part of that love. Good words sweet friend, hugs to you!

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  7. I've been thinking of you a lot lately. I am glad to see a post from you because you always make me think! Yes, respect is definitely part of the love we have for ourselves which in turn should make it part of the love we have for our neighbors if we are to love them as ourselves. I'm so glad that you summoned up the courage to talk to this neighbor about how you felt disrespected by the way she allowed her children to go through your home, etc. Somehow, I have a feeling that you were used of the Lord to help this woman more fully understand love at a deeper level. Hugs to you my friend.

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  8. I admire your bravery on this Mary! Regardless of the results you still went there and that's very courageous and Christ of you! Blessings to you!

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  9. Whew, you tackled a very hard thing and did it with grace! Toxic relationships can just drain the life right out of you, and sometimes the best way is to love from a distance. :) Thank you for sharing this story with us. Sending much love to you, my friend!

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  10. Great post and telling about loving your neighbor!! I love the picture too with the horses, their expressions are so perfect!! Love to you, Mary!! Thank you for your inspiration through your posts, much to learn from always!! Blessings!

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  11. “Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you do, and you will presently come to love him.” – C. S. Lewis

    just saw this when looking for a text to use for an English class, and thought of your post!!

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    Replies
    1. ♡ still not sure what to use for my English class!! Maybe a bunch of quotes from C.S. Lewis and others! Blessings!

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