555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

454. Who Is My Neighbor?

The practical question, "How shall I carry out the commandment to love one's neighbor as one's self is constantly facing the Christian. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught that our neighbor is any one to whom we can be of service. There are no limits as to social standing, or creed, or race, or habitation. Any one whom we can reach has a claim upon our help, which is sanctioned by God himself. The teachings of both Jesus and Paul are plain that a man should care, with special earnestness and affection, for the members of his own household. To be sweet and kind, patient and helpful at home is the first neighborly duty of the Christian. Then the people to whom one is nearest in his daily life have the next claim upon his service. He should be on the lookout for persons and families who are in need and whom he can help. The Christian should make his influence felt for the benefit of his neighborhood, his town, and his state. Mails and express routes have knit the whole world into so compact a neighborhood that every one must feel that the needy in any corner of the world have a claim upon his charitable consideration. Needless to say the joy of such service always far outweighs whatever sacrifice may be involved. Matt. 19:19, 22:39; Luke 10:36, 37; Rom. 13:10.