Love thy neighbor as thyself. —Matthew 19:19
Oftentimes it can be hard to be nice to your neighbors when their Christmas party lasts until 2:00 a.m., their dog uses your flowerbeds for a toilet, or their children use your property for a playground. When this happens, it might be hard for you to be “neighborly.”
Your “neighbor” is basically anyone you come in contact with— the grocery store clerk, the person waiting behind you in line, the cable guy, or the plumber who charges extra on the weekends. We don’t choose the people God brings across our paths. He usually puts people in our way to whom He wants us to show His love. Even if their culture, lifestyle, personality, or religion is different, God says these differences are exactly why we should try harder to show His love.
Even in the sticky relationships that often come with tension, we are to love others which shows our love for Him. 1 John 4:20 says, “If a man says, ‘I love God,’ and hateth his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”
In today’s society, people are pushy and oftentimes downright nasty in their attitudes and actions. But, even when those people have seriously annoyed or offended you, there is little excuse for treating them with disrespect. Christ walked among prostitutes, thieves, and hypocrites—yet their lives were changed by His love. As a believer, you have the power to show the same kind of transforming love to your “neighbors.”
Ask God to create in your heart a love for the unlovable and to see others through His eyes. Pray for those who come across your path who are uneasy to love, that Christ may change their hearts. (Copied–changed to KJV)