Pro 14:20 The poor is hated even of his own neighbor: but the rich hath many friends.
Pro 14:21 He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.
What does it take to be a good neighbor? A good friend? What makes us think that someone is not a good friend?
Of course we think that someone who is kind, and considerate, would make a good neighbor or friend. Someone who will go that extra mile to help out. But in our everyday life, do we look at other people in a judgemental way? Do we consider if they are poor? Do we wonder if they have as much education as we do, or maybe they have more? Do we think about the car they drive, or the house they live in, and make a judgement on that? And do any of these things make any difference at all in the person?
I hear you -- you're right; the answer is "no." None of those things matter a whit or make any difference as far as the person is concerned. But Solomon is noting that it's human nature to gravitate toward the rich, toward the attractive, to the people who seem (in the world's eyes) more worthy of our time and attention. And hundreds of years before Christ's birth, he was saying something that Jesus would say, too. He explained, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, that in order to love God, we must love others as ourselves. And He also pointed out that our "neighbor" is the person we encounter that is in need.
Have you ever noticed that the people who are "on top of the world" have lots of people hanging around, that seem to be their friends? Have you seen those "friends" fade into the woodwork when times get tough? Maybe you have experienced this first hand. What does that say about those people?
Maybe we should list in our journal today, some characteristics of good friends. Think about what makes a "good" neighbor. I know I'll be praying that God will help me in some areas that I fail in, and I hope He'll give me an opportunity to try again, and show His love to others.