24 May 2012

How are we to love our neighbors?

Submitted by Stephen Winters
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It has been said that we are to love our enemies, pray for those who despitefully use us. What does all this mean?

Jesus quotes as saying, if you... you to go one mile, go two miles.   Give to him who asks of you.... and your Father in heaven.

In aother place it says that we are to be as wise as serpants, but be as harmless as doves

 In yet another place we are told, if a man won't work, he should not eat. Don't we have a duty to feed the hungry? What if he is too lazy to work and uses our "kindness" of continually providing food to become lazy and not do anything for himself or others. Is this truly

Part of learning to love is to do what is best for each person. To one person it might be giving them some food, money, or help in some manner. To another person it might be not enabling them to be lazy. That would mean gently but firmly suggesting that they find a job, or giving them referrals. If he is living in your house, and continues to refuse to work (or give countless excuses of why he can't work), that might mean removing him from your house and letting him sink or swim.

For example, how does it help a drunk on skid row to give them money so that they can go out and get drunk again?

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach him to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.

We aren't to just  blindly give away all our time or money to anyone and everyone who asks of us. We first have a responsibility to provide for our own household. Once that is taken care of, we are to use discernment about who to help, in what manner, and how much. Discernment would involve our using whatever resources that are available to use to help us make wises decisions. Sometimes that would involve learning more about reading a person's body language. It has been reported that

  • 7% of the information we receive is from what they actually say.
  • 38% of information we receive is from the tone, inflection and speed of their voice.
  • A staggering 55% of the information we receive is from their body language.


"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Matthew 7:1-2


Uses Right judgement


If a brother has fallen, go to him meekly,

We can infer that we are to help others, but not just blindly. It is helpful for us to know the situation so that we can truly help the other person. It is so easy just to give money and yet not to truly get involved enough so that we can truly help in a meaningful way.

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