Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. – (Romans 15:2, NIV)
But do what pleases them and is for their good. We should do whatever helps everyone grow stronger in faith. – (Romans 15:2, ERV)
Each of us must strive to please our neighbors, pursuing their welfare so they will become strong. – (Romans 15:2, VOICE)
How can we please our neighbors? I don’t know about you, but for me, a good neighbor is one who is kind and considerate. To help build up and grow stronger in faith requires a relationship. If we don’t know our neighbors, we cannot possibly build them up nor help them grow stronger in faith. Neighbors can be anyone we interact with daily. Interestingly, we seem to be in a day and age where we do not really know the people who live nearby in our neighborhoods. In our neighborhood growing up, we all knew each other and looked out for one another. Today, such a neighborhood is rare. My husband is good at this, as he knows everyone on our block and has a positive rapport with each of them. My “neighbors” are more the teachers in nearby classrooms, as most of my waking hours are spent there. Having worked at the same school my entire career thus far, I have the benefit of knowing my colleagues well. Though I do not see everyone each day, I have had positive interactions with them all at one time or another. Wherever we are and whatever we do, we can be good neighbors and build others up. May we ever seek the Lord to lead us and show us how to be pleasing to those around us so that our kindness and care points hearts to the One who loves us best.
Wherever we are,
Whatever we do;
We all have neighbors,
That we are called to.
Called to choose do good,
And love others well;
So that all may grow,
And in goodness dwell.
Show us, Lord Jesus,
How to be the ones;
That lift others up,
And care as You’ve done.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for calling us to be good neighbors that love well and consider those around us. Thank You that we can encourage others and help strengthen their faith as You work in and through us. Forgive us for the times that we have neglected to be good neighbors in the spaces You have called us live and work and dwell. Teach us to trust You more and to follow the example that You have set before us. Lead us in Your love so that we may love our neighbors as You do. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we seek You to show us how to love and care for those around us best. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:14