I can’t think of a neighbor without picturing the kindest man in a zip-up sweater singing “Won’t you, please. Please, won’t you be my neighbor?” Fred Rogers understood being a neighbor and turned the world into his neighborhood, because he knew the author of community. God is all about relationships. The Bible is filled with stories of relationships and helps guide in us in how to respond to our neighbors.
Let’s read from the HelpFinder Bible to learn more about being a good neighbor.
Most of us think of our neighbors as the people who live next door or across the street. Jesus’ teachings expand our neighborhood to involve anyone around us who needs his love. This means not only the people who live near us but also the people next to us on a plane, our coworkers, or the people in our town who are homeless. It is also important to expand our neighborhood to people around the world who need the love of Christ.
When we begin to view people we see or meet or even hear about as our neighbors, we can begin to establish the kind of relationships that allow us to share the love of Christ by offering a helping hand. How will you treat your neighbors today?
Who is my neighbor?
LUKE 10:29-37 | The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. . . . A priest came along . . . and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. . . . he took care of him . . . Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
Your neighbor is anyone around you who needs help, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, or friendship.
What are my responsibilities to my neighbors? How am I to love my neighbors?
ROMANS 13:9-10 | For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.
JAMES 2:8 | Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love your neighbors, regardless of your differences.
DEUTERONOMY 22:1, 3 | If you see your neighbor’s ox or sheep or goat wandering away, don’t ignore your responsibility. Take it back to its owner.. . . Do the same if you find your neighbor’s donkey, clothing, or anything else your neighbor loses. Don’t ignore your responsibility.
PROVERBS 3:28 | If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”
Help your neighbors in times of need.
EPHESIANS 4:25 | So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.
Be honest with your neighbors, even when it is painful.
LEVITICUS 19:18 | “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” Never try to get back at your neighbors for something wrong they have done to you. Let the Lord deal with them.
LEVITICUS 19:16 | “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people.”
1 TIMOTHY 5:13 | And if they are on the list, they will learn to be lazy and will spend their time gossiping from house to house, meddling in other people’s business and talking about things they shouldn’t.
Don’t gossip about your neighbors.
DEUTERONOMY 5:21 | “You must not covet your neighbor’s wife. You must not covet your neighbor’s house or land, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”
Don’t covet what your neighbors have.
PROVERBS 27:14 | A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!
Respect your neighbors’ time and privacy.
PROVERBS 3:29 | Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you.
Don’t break your neighbors’ trust by planning against them.