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Love our neighbors

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Mat 22:39b

When we think of the word neighbor, we often think of those who live beside us, across the road from us, or maybe several houses down.  However, was this what was meant by Jesus in the above verse?  I do not think so.  According to Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, it means ‘any other man irrespective of nation or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet.’  In other words, every human on this earth is essentially our neighbor.  We are to love everyone we come into contact with.  So I ask the question, do we really love our neighbor?

Let’s think about this a moment.  Lets look first at two fictitious people.  First, we have Comfy Carl.  This is someone who has a nice house, decent salary and lives a relatively comfortable life.  He is clean and his clothes are in good shape.  Next we have Homeless Harry.  This is someone who has no job or home, lives on the streets and struggles every day just to survive.  He is dirty, not having had a bath in months and his only clothes are the ones on his back.  So, I want you to ask yourself, which one would you be more inclined to help?  Would it be Comfy Carl or Homeless Harry?  Be honest.  Many would probably say, if they were honest with themselves, Comfy Carl rather than Homeless Harry.  I base this speculation on what I have observed for myself; in school, the workplace, news articles and what I have seen by watching people in public settings.  Now, lets change this a bit.  What if you are Homeless Harry?  Who would you want people to help?  Would your decision be different?

So, why would we be more inclined to help Comfy Carl?  Todays culture is obsessed with the rich and beautiful.  We are more interested in seeing how the rich and famous live rather than being informed about the down and out in our societies.  It is because we want to be like them.  We dream of being able to live as they do and afford the luxuries they can.  We believe that if we can associate with those who are successful, we will be more likely to be as successful ourselves.  Our focus becomes getting more rather than helping those less fortunate.  We want to help people, but not to the detriment of our own dreams and goals.  Therefore, Comfy Carl becomes the logical choice.  We will gladly give a dollar or so to Homeless Harry, but not much more.

Now I want to clarify there are many who want to assist the poor and homeless, but do not understand one of the biggest needs they have, the need to be wanted.  Of course they need food, clothing and shelter.  But they also need to know that someone actually loves them.  Many think that they are all alone, that no one cares about them.  They welcome whatever physical assistance they can get, but sometimes they just want someone to spend time with them, sincerely sharing with them, listening to them.  They want to know that someone wants to be with them.  This is a very easy thing to do, but it requires an unselfish, sacrificial heart.  The kind that Christ had when He gave His life for us; providing a way to bring reconciliation between us and the Father.  This is the kind of love we are to have for our neighbors, all our neighbors, including those who are the unwanted in our society.

Now, I am not a poet, but God gave me this one evening as I was resting before going to sleep.  He has been showing me in various ways that people need to be loved and wanted, however, there are many all over the world who do not presently experience either.  Please be open to show love to the unloved, and help them to know that someone cares for them.  We are to be the hands and feet of Christ on this earth.  Remember, some of these may be Christians, and whatever you do not do to the least of these His brethren, you have not done it unto Christ.

The Lonely Man

“Hello there!” said the homeless man to people passing by.
He waved his hand and gave a smile while looking in their eyes.
They turned away without a glance as if he was not there
But the lonely man just perseveres wishing someone would actually care.
 –
Hours pass and hunger comes but he has no food to eat
Till someone laughs and mocks while throwing garbage at his feet
When nighttime comes and no one stops he looks up at the stars.
Then slowly walks on down the street past all the fancy cars.
He turns into an alley where he hunts a place to rest
But he finds himself escorted out as an unwanted guest.
Eventually he finds a bench on a lonely dead end street
Where he slowly lays his body down with his head upon the seat.
He dreams about a time long gone and all the memories
of happy times and many smiles with friends and family
He then remembers all the tears of seeing loved ones die,
and losing all that he had owned to an evil scammers lie
He wakes up in the morning, just like every other day,
with tears that flow down dirty cheeks while on the bench he lay
He hoped this day would bring to him a kind and loving friend
To take away the loneliness he feared would never end.
 –
“Hello there!” said this same sad man to people passing by.
He waved his hand and gave a smile while looking in their eyes.
They turned away without a glance as if he was not there
But the lonely man just perseveres wishing someone would actually care.
Categories: Culture, Theology
  1. Lorraine
    November 5th, 2015 at 08:00 | #1

    BEAUTIFUL! If we truly loved our neighbor as Christ commands us to, many of Satan's schemes would be thrawted.
    Sometimes just a smile, kind touch, or hug will warm the soul in need.

    • William Funkhouser
      November 8th, 2015 at 19:42 | #2

      Thank you Lorraine. So true. It is amazing what a simple hug or smile can do. I pray many will see the reality of simple love.

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