“That’s My Neighbor”

I can hear it now, echoing through the streets this week, “That’s my neighbor!” For this week, in the Pillars Series focusing on spiritual disciplines, we aimed the light on Service. Ah, that wonderful word! It is amazing how some words drip with feeling. When we hear the word service and couple it with the idea that the service being spoke about should be done to our neighbors – and “O by the way”…everybody is your neighbor, a collective gasp is heard. We have no problem talking about doing service to our neighbor as long as we get to pick who gets to be “my neighbor”.

We like the Mr. Rogers approach – “Please won’t you be my neighbor” which implies – please won’t you other people not be my neighbor. The scripture imperative is clear. We should live our lives as though we are in intimate contact with everyone. We should treat everyone, as the Golden Rule says, the way we would want to be treated.

These are great things to say, and even use as a platform when running for office. The quandary comes when we are faced with actually doing it. This is such an “in your face” moment. You find yourself in the presence of someone who is not acting in a very neighborly way, but suddenly you remember that they are in fact your neighbor. What to do?

It is in these moments of self observation that the most critical choices are made. It is simple to make the decision to treat your neighbor nice when put in front of a congregation of church people, the real determining actions are done when you are the only witness. These are the times when you build what was once called character. These are the times when you grow and “become”.

Determine beforehand your reactions and then follow through on your promise to yourself. This week can be an incredible week of triumph as together we look into every face and truly recognize it as that of our neighbor.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Belief, Message Series, People

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