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How would you rate your "neighborly efforts" with those you live around? How would they rate you? Despite my outgoing and naturally friendly personality, I must admit that I struggle with the Love Thy Neighbor commands of Scripture. Some neighbors really keep to themselves. Others have lifestyles that are completely different from mine. Some are older couples with an empty nest. Some are just starting families. We cannot help but be part of one another's lives to some degree. If only when checking the mail and giving our neighbor a nod or a wave of greeting. Interaction on some level is inevitable.
Then we all retreat indoors and naturally talk with our spouse about these interactions. We make judgments and conclusions on very little evidence. Sometimes we conclude positive things about them and other times we speculate the worst. As I read the story above on Facebook, I was convicted on several levels.
1. I talk with my wife about my neighbors more than I express a loving attitude toward them.
2. I make conclusions with insignificant amounts of information.
3. These conclusions can often be negative instead of assuming the best of people.
4. These conclusions say more about me and "the lens" I am looking through than it does those that I am analyzing.
5. I need to clean my windows.
How about you?
Mark 12:33 - To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.