Love Your Neighbor PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 February 2018 14:08

“This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:38-39, ESV)

I know a friend who later married his own neighbor. Over a dinner, he explained to us a bit about their love story. He said that he eventually fell in-love to his neighbor, because literally it was hers whom he could see every day. Then he churned and told us all in the table, that he believes in the Bible’s command—to love your neighbor! Everybody laughed, including me.

His seeming lousy joke made sense, well. But that which I want to pound in this column today is more than just an attraction to an opposite gender, but our real obligation to be a good neighbor to our equal. The world can live in an actual peace, if each man may be able to see and respect his next-door fellow as his neighbor, and that he is also bound to be a help to him—and should never be a cause, in whatever manner, to be a harm against him.

There is this daily post which I religiously follow in Facebook. A man by the nickname of Nas—He is an Israeli Palestinian, he features a video daily about the beauty of life. His inspirations are drawn from the different life’s stories of people all over the world. What he posted yesterday was about this phenomenon of human life’s longevity in Japan. He posed the question if why the Japanese people can live a longer life, so that any average Japanese does live long as 84-years old?

His quick and candid reply was there is no one single answer. In one of his opinions, he observed that the Japanese respect each other. Thus, harming their equal is almost an impossibility. In fact, the crime rate in Japan is literally close to zero percent. Yesterday’s presentation of Nas Daily bedazzled me! Can we probably emulate such PRINCIPLED ATTITUDE of the Japanese here in the Philippines?

Cain and Abel were more than just brothers. Bible scholars told us that they were actually twins. Notwithstanding the first murder in history was committed by Cain against his younger twin-brother Abel. The mere motive was a useless envy! Cain thought that nobody saw to what he did. Hence, he left the crime scene pretending to be nothing happened.

But God confronted him. Here is the powerful line of exchange which are recorded in the first pages of Genesis. “Then the LORD said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?’” (Gen. 4:9, ESV) Again, the eccentric reply of Cain unveiled the condition of his heart, that he indeed refused to be a good neighbor to his own twin-brother.

Under heaven, you and I have a sacred duty to our equal—to be a brother’s keeper. This in fact is a command by God! God commands us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. This is not a difficult duty if we can understand that the same action is actually like a seed which we plant for our future harvests. It is a natural law that what we plant is what we shall reap, thereafter.

Plant kindness, you shall harvest kindness; plant generosity, you shall also harvest generosity. It is indeed a simple arithmetic. The usual problem, why this command cannot be obeyed by many people, is selfishness! One example is the daily traffic in our City. Here are few of the scenarios which are pretty common in our streets.

Those drivers who dare to push their vehicles to the extend of driving in a counter flow; those drivers who cannot give way to other motorists in the streets; maybe tryke drivers also who demand more than enough fares—overpricing. Whew! The list can continue. So, you see now where the problem lies? And we are just talking about one single aspect of our society, the traffic in Zamboanga.

If these same bad drivers will cooperate and change their attitude, our streets may be saner, and they too can help ease our worse traffic in our streets. When the Lord gives us a law, it is always a doable one. “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.” (Deut. 30:11, ESV)

Going back to the Japanese culture, they were able to do the second greatest commandment in their country. That means, we are capable to emulate them, too. It takes though a step at a time. It may be starting in you, the reader of this article, then to follow to those whom you can touch along. When we can be nice to others, such good trait remains to them indelibly.

Hence, the same folks shall be the potential people to follow the change of goodness which you are embracing. The power of light is always stronger than the sting of darkness. Righteousness overcomes evil all the time. Kindness and love belong to the light, while rudeness and hate to darkness. Let’s walk in kindness and love—with such, we can change our places around by the grace of God. Ain’t it? God bless you.