For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:14 NKJV
God’s laws help us to foster better relationships with other people.
In a literal sense, our neighbors are people who live next door to us or in our neighborhoods.
In my neighborhood, the neighbor directly across from our house has a reputation for being the grumpy neighbor. He never waives “Hi.” Our neighbors who live down the street and grew up in our neighborhood told us that the grumpy neighbor is grumpy towards everyone, not just us. They tell their kids not to play at his end of the street so as to avoid conflict.
The month that my family moved in, when our contractor was removing old carpet, the dumpster knocked over a few rocks that our neighbor had carefully balanced along the side of the road in front of his house. Even though the rocks weren’t on his property, he appeared so angry that he wouldn’t even introduce himself when my husband offered to put the rocks back.
Neighbors, however grumpy, still deserve love. We may not be best friends, but we can wish them peace and ease. We can pray for them with the same sincerity that we bring our own requests to God.
Beyond the literal sense, our neighbors include all people, and God does not withhold His love from people, even when their actions are not quite praiseworthy.
God can create a forgiving heart in anyone. He does not hold a grudge. He loves us, flaws and all. Amen.