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It is better to have a good neighbour than a distant friend. – Old Dutch Proverb
The other day, I read that since the rise of social media, email, and texting with people all over the world, we have much less contact with the people near us. Many people don't even know who lives on their own street or in the apartments above or below them. It seems that over the years, people have grown apart.
It is quite often mentioned that in years past, in times of trouble or need, neighbours were the first to help out. For instance, an immigrant, who came from the Netherlands many years ago, told me during one of our visits that when he had been in Canada for just a few years, they bought a farm. Meanwhile, he still had to make a living, so he worked in a local factory from 7:00 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. When he came home at 6:00 p.m., he would have a quick bite to eat and then do what had to be done on the farm in the evening hours.
The first spring that they were there, when it was time to plow the fields, he would go out and work until dark, and it would take him several evenings to get all the soil turned over. Then one evening when he arrived home from the factory, he saw, much to his surprise, that the whole field was plowed. During the day, a neighbour had come in and finished the job for him.
Actually, that kind of thing still happens. Last winter, when I was ill, our next-door neighbour and a young man from across the street cleared the snow off our driveway almost daily. Great people, good neighbours!
The Bible tells us that a good neighbour does no harm, is trustworthy, cares for others, is generous, and treats others like they themselves would like to be treated.
Jesus had something to say about neighbourliness when a lawyer tested Him with a question:
Matthew 22:36-40 – "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (NKJV)
How are we doing with this commandment? Do we have a good relationship with our neighbours? Do we help them out when they need it? Do we care for them? Are we generous to them with our resources? More importantly, do we treat them as we would wish to be treated?
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for good neighbours, and we pray that we will be good neighbours to those near us and even to those far away. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.
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Thank you, Joel. This attitude is badly needed in our world.
Thank you, Joel, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.
Joel Thanks for today’s message. Good memories of how our neighbours helped each other out during the early days of COVID and stay-at-home orders.
Thanks again for your devotional and challenge to be a good neighbor. Last evening our neighbor brought us some ears of corn that he raised from his few plants in his back yard. We will have them for lunch.
Amen Joel. This is a concept that many no longer fathom. May we see positive change in the future as we continue to pray for the revival of Canada as a nation of God.
Many thanks Joel for your good words that remind us and encourage us to be good neighbours and to be graciously thankful for the good neighbours we do have.
Blessings for the writings you deliver to us.
Thanks, Joel, not just for today’s devotional but for all the ones you contribute.
This one is especially meaningful because of a good friend of mine – a widow who still lives alone on the family farm and whose children live some distance from her. She firmly believes in “paying it forward”.
As a result, she has a strong bond with all her neighbours and they’re always available for each other, whatever the need.
She sets a great example.
First of all, it is certainly nice to know that you have recovered well from being ill.
When we moved to from the city, I said I would stay for six months to “see how things went.” That was 23 years ago, and I am still here. It is easy to be a neighbor here. As you know, we live on a ranch and our neighbors here are wonderful. AND, in a small town, people do “know” each other.
When we moved here, my cousin, ordained Baptist minister but who is also a CPA, asked me where we are going to church. I told him that we were going to the Presbyterian church, and it is the only one in the county. His reply, “I am surprised in rural Texas, there is a Presbyterian Church.”
Good morning, Joel,
You remind us of the two most important commandments that Jesus states when asked. The second one is ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ You give us two good examples of this. I also think it is true that the rise of social media is diminishing actual face to face contact with others. It is definitely easier to just send out an email or text and not make the effort to actually physically connect with others.
Thanks for sharing how important it is to be a good neighbour and to reach out and connect and help others as we go about our own lives. From all the wonderful things you have shared in your devotionals, I know that you are a good neighbour. I hope that your health is improving each day and you are no longer worrying. Blessings.