Thursday, January 15, 2009
Are You My Neighbor?
I recently submitted a devotional to The Upper Room with this title. It is a question we subconsciously ask ourselves each time we meet a new person.
Within these four words, a great deal is implied. We are asking many questions between the lines. Will you become a close friend or just an acquaintance? Will you be someone I can trust, even confide in? Will you come to my home one day as a welcomed guest or I to yours? Will you pray for me and I for you? Will I be able to ask for your help someday? Will our friendship become a key part of my future growth spiritually, socially, and/or psychologically? When I die, will you be someone who will mourn my passage out of this sin-stained world?
When we meet fellow Christian writers, more questions arise. When I have something published, will you be one who will rejoice with me or envy me? If I need you to honestly critique my writing, will you give me an honest analysis?
Perhaps I read too much into this question "Are you my neighbor?", but I know that Christ's parable of the Good Samaritan was not addressing people who lived next door to each other. They were "two very different ships passing in the night". This is the society and mixing bowl of cultures in which we live. But the Samaritan had merciful heartbeats for the injured and robbed person. Out of his own time and money, he cared for this stranger he just met, never expecting anything in return.
Christ died and I believe he did it all for our sakes, never expecting anything in return. How could we possibly return all that He gave us with his last heartbeat on the cross? It was all that Heaven had to offer,an inheritance outside the realm of the real and natural.
What kind of neighbor are you? What kind of neighbor do you wish to become in this New Year?