Proverbs For Performers (Part 17)
Helping Your Neighbors*
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor, 'Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,'
When you have it with you...
Proverbs 3:27-28 (NKJV)
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 19:19, Matthew 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8 (NASB)
We live in a land of personal space. We erect intentional boundaries. We avoid eye contact with strangers. We plug our ears to the cries around us. We focus on screens instead of people. We text and tweet, instead of go and see.
We fence, gate and lock our communities. We build church walls and denominations. We divide into clubs, cliques, troops and gangs. We busy ourselves with work and errands. We overlook pilgrims and refugees. Segregation has morphed and expanded.
Clearly, God tells us to love our neighbors. But how can we love those we disregard? Consider two stories told by Jesus: 1) The pains of hellfire awaiting the rich man who ignored the beggar at his gates.** 2) The revealing of church hypocrisy by the Good Samaritan's compassion.***
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Your neighbors are people around you, strangers you pass who need assistance, and the fans who love your performance. In this age of willful apathy and electronic self-absorption, when others are staring at cell phones, be the one who looks at your neighbors.
Your friendly face will be a surprise: a demonstration of God's regard. Your helping hand will be His Own Hand: an affirmation of His intent. When you act on behalf of others, those God puts on the path before you, God Himself will act on your behalf.
To Be Continued...
* Other Bible Verses about neighbors: http://www.openbible.info/topics/neighbors
** The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+16:19-31
*** The Parable of The Good Samaritan: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A25-37
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.