Monday, October 15, 2012

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
By Stephanie H.

Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Many of us have heard the story of the Good Samaritan, but we may have it a little confused. The “neighbor” it would appear, was the man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho who was beaten and left for dead (Luke 10:30). But in the end, Jesus says the Good Samaritan who helped this man "proved to be the neighbor" (Luke 12:36-37).
All through the Bible Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor.  Who is our neighbor?  The real question is: Who am I & Who are you?  Am I a good neighbor?  Am I someone that would stop and help a stranger like the Good Samaritan or do I only help my close friends and family?  Who does GOD want me to love?  Everybody, just like Him!
The Holy Spirit has been working on my heart about the school my kids go to.  I have struggled getting to know parents at the school because most conversations I would have with them would be so foreign and I just didn’t know how to relate.  I tried several times, several different ways, but it was not happening.  I did not think I was better than them or in any way too good for them.  I just struggled knowing how and where I belonged.  Finally, I asked The Lord to show me ways that I could be a blessing, feel more plugged in at the school and develop some friendships with other parents.
I am now seeing that He has been laying the foundation this whole time.  He has been knocking my socks off with so many blessings.
He guided a conversation today with a mom that I had never met. Turns out we live in the same neighborhood and our 2 boys are the same age.  We were both looking for the same thing and the Lord placed us both in the teacher work room today working on a project together.  God is so good!
We shouldn’t focus on works…we should focus on the fact that the people we come in contact with are real people, with real lives and a real story.  You never know what the people you encounter may be going through and God may need you to be the one to speak life or a word of encouragement to them.  Just listen!  God will do the rest.
God created us all as equals.  It does not matter how successful, how much money you have, how big your house is, how beautiful you are, where you are from, what religion you are or aren’t.  God loves us the same.  We are all created in His image.
Challenge:  Be on the lookout for ways that you can be a good neighbor to people around you.  Take time to listen to people around you…it may be a cry for help.  Will you prove to be the “neighbor?”

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