Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Proverbs 14 : 20 - 21 Good neighbors, good friends - am I one?

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.


Belinda said...

I will be admitting my sin here...

There are people who I look down on. Those who will spend their last dollar on cigarettes, but come to our food pantry in need. Those who don't bathe regularly. The ones society looks considers lower/poverty class. I judge them.

I've had a problem with this all my life, but I work on it daily. I know it's wrong, and I know I must change my attitude.

I also admit that I automatically consider someone who has more than I do monetarily, better than I am. Why is that? Does anything on the outside really matter??!!

Lord, help me to have mercy on my poor neighbor and not envy for those with more than I.

Hillbilly Tonya said...

I have said before, and I truly am very thankful that I have walked ALL monetary paths in life.

I can explain a few things about the poor....That cigarette is because they have no hope of where the next meal is coming from anyway. That being overweight is because a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is cheaper than fresh fruits and vegetables. (sigh). That long scraggly hair is because they can't afford the $20 to have a haircut. That missing front tooth is because they cannot afford dental care. (Big Huge sigh.)

On the other hand, I am judgmental. Of the rich. I often look at them and wonder if the outfit their wearing is really the best stewardship of their money. If they are driving a Mercedes, then they must be jerks. Yes I have sinfully judged these people even though I had money at one time in my life!

And even worse, I feel so embarrassed and like others are judging me that it makes me hide behind this computer for my social life. You know what that is? Being Self-absorbed.

As Jacque said, today I need to contemplate how to be a good neighbor to ALL--the rich, the poor, the fat, the skinny, the scraggly, the fancy.

Belinda said...

I know the poor have good reason for their actions. Not having walked in their shoes, I judge. As I said, I sin. Bleh.

Hillbilly Tonya said...

Ya, we all do. Double blah! I think women are way more judgmental of others than men. at least it seems that way to me. Just something all of us have to work on.

JuneBug, Milta and SnowPea said...

Belinda - this is for you! wow thank you for the honesty of your comment. my husband struggles with this and it hits his heart more at this time of year. And whats wonderful about us is that we can use my own faults in this area too - it took me a long time to see that Jesus would rather spend his time with sinners then saints. Because Belinda those sinners were lead to you not to be judge but to be helped. Knowing that our presence and love is the best teacher of all. Your comment was so raw and trueful - I found comfort in that. Bless you dear Sister!!
Another great article today!!


Snoodles said...

I am so grateful to see the comments today...this post was a real eye opener to write -- made me see that I, too, have been judging on outward appearances. Belinda, I have asked myself the same questions. Then I kick myself and pray for forgiveness. I guess we all struggle with this.
Tonya. Yes, I have been there, too. I can't tell you how many times when we were first married, that our meals were boxed mac n cheese or a can of pintos. And we were glad to have those. That makes me more aware, I think, of my sin when I do judge people. Sigh. I need the Spirit to help me do better....and I'm so glad that He promises to be with me and do just that!

Hillbilly Tonya said...

Ah, I was just pointing out that I've been on all sides...and I am still judgmental. Shame on me, when I've had the opportunity to know what it is like to live upper, middle and lower. God has given me this to be understanding..so why do I judge?

As you said, The Spirit will help if we allow Him.

Belinda, you are always the first to be honest and we all love that about you. It gives us the courage to be honest too.

Good study today teacher! I love it when we get chats going!!