“Love Thy Neighbor…”

Last night, I had an interesting conversation with a rather fiery gentleman at church. We were discussing the verse in the Bible that says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Now, I’ve heard this verse many times before in sermons past, but for some reason, this felt different. Maybe because it was coming from a sixty-year-old retired great-grandfather. He said to me that we should not only show love to our neighbors in our apartments or subdivisions. We need to be showing love to every person we come across daily. Like I said, this was nothing new, but for some reason, it felt like this was new. Maybe it was because of his enthusiasm. But I felt like he was reminding me on how I need to treat people.

Now, I’d like to think I am an overall friendly person, but I have my limits. And by no means am I the model of loving your neighbor. I’ve ranted and raved over simple mistakes. And it’s gotten me into trouble. I think, though, when that gentleman expounded on what “love thy neighbor” meant to him, it renewed something I was lacking.

Over the past couple of weeks at my full-time job, I’ve been frustrated with customers and co-workers alike. Without giving a second thought, I wanted to ask why and what were they thinking. But, being in a public place and because of the fact I was representing the store and company, I restrained. But, as I think about it now, the decision to restrain myself shouldn’t even be a thought. I should show empathy and compassion. That’s not to say let people walk over me, but show them I understand and want to help them out however I can.

“Love thy neighbor” is not the easiest thing to do, but I think the world would be better if everyone understood what that truly meant and followed the principle behind it. I certainly will try to make it part of my mantra, and try to treat everyone the way I want to be treated.

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Author: G. R. McNeese

I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

2 thoughts on ““Love Thy Neighbor…””

  1. Way long ago an intern pastor (pastor in training) I knew gave a sermon about loving your neighbor as yourself, but included the story about the good Samaritan. He was trying to point out that the word, neighbor, is subjective. This person is just not the person who lives next door or even a person who lives in the same city as you. This person could be someone who lives far away in another country. He also pointed out that the attitude should apply to the world at large too. This is a tough thing to put into constant practice though.

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  2. I guess, when it comes down to it, we all live on Earth, so we are all neighbors in that sense. I’d never really thought of it like that, but it’s true. I’ll try to remember this the next time I get annoyed with a fellow driver or I start being judgey.

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