A Prayer to Love Our Neighbor
By Tiffany Thibault
We live in a fallen world, a world full of self-gratification, a world full of hurting people. The theme of our society has become that what is most important in life is that each of us be more self-focused, more self-satisfied and insist more on our opinions, regardless of anyone else's.
Turn on any news channel or talk show, scroll through social media and it will not take long until you start to see a common thread. Everyone has an opinion and everyone feels that their opinion is what matters most, regardless of how it is said, regardless of how it is enforced, and regardless of how it is delivered.
Growing up, I was taught “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I often think about that phrase as I see the ugly delivery of opinions, beliefs and personal rights increasing in the past few years. Yet behind all the pain that you see, and all the ugly words that you hear, the reality is that it all pours out from hurting hearts, ours, and theirs.
Truth is that there absolutely needs to be a change in our society! The Bible gives us a better solution to change our world than all the yelling and fighting that is seen in the news. Jesus told us to “Love our neighbor as ourselves.” Love.
That change can start with one person. That change must start with me. That change must start with you.
Love your neighbor as yourself. The kind neighbor? Absolutely easy to do. The one who is rude, intolerant, angry and pushing their opinion on me? Surely the Lord didn’t mean that neighbor! Yes, He did. Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. Love your neighbor as well as you love yourself.
Loving your neighbor means that you are helping them, not hurting them. It means respecting them, not tearing them down. Loving your neighbor is about what they get from you - a feeling, an act of kindness, a healing hand, a shoulder to cry on. Loving your neighbor can be a bunch of flowers, a kind note, and taking the trash can to the curb. Loving your neighbor can mean a big smile and wave, it can mean walking their dog when they can’t, it can mean making an extra batch of cookies to surprise them at the end of a long day. Loving your neighbor is never about gossip, negativity, harm or shoving your rights or opinions on them. Loving your neighbor is a command from our Lord, regardless of that person's race, religion, social status, or choices. Loving your neighbor is a command from our Lord, regardless of how we feel about that person.
Love your neighbor as yourself. This can only come from a place of truly knowing how to love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. As we pursue learning to love God with every part of ourselves, only then we are able to love our neighbor as the Lord commands.
As you think about your relationship with your neighbors, is it hard or easy? As you think about your relationship with the Lord, is it deep or shallow? There is a definite correlation. Loving the Lord should be our deepest desire. Is it your deepest desire? As we are committed to loving the Lord, then loving our neighbors should be the easiest thing to do. Love your neighbor - this command from our Lord will absolutely change our world. Will you join me in obeying the Lord in this area and watch this world turn itself around?
Thank you, Lord, that you love me despite all of my faults and issues. Lord, I ask that you help me to love my neighbors with that same kind of love that you extend towards me. Lord help me to see my neighbors through your eyes. Show me practical ways that I can help them, and through that help, then be able to show them the love of Jesus. Help me to put aside my agenda Lord to simply love them, to meet them where they are and to love them as You love them.
In Your name, I pray,
Tiffany Thibault enjoys living life with her husband, two teenage daughters and one very large dog. She is a homeschool mom, an author, a Bible study leader and loves to share God’s word with women. You can find her at www.tiffanythibault.com
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