Belittle Your Neighbour?
Proverbs 14:20-21 NLT
The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many “friends.” It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor.
This podcast is a repost, was originally published on July 19, 2017.
Series: Who’s My Neighbour ?
As a series, we have been learning on loving our neighbour as ourselves. That’s what Jesus taught us. This concept isn’t something that started in the New Testament. It’s spoken about in the Old Testament in Leviticus, and Jesus merely is reemphasising and is telling the heart behind the Ten Commandments, making it a lifestyle of loving our neighbour.
The person who helped the man on the way to Jericho in the story of Good Samaritan is indeed the neighbour of the man. It’s important to identify who our neighbour is. We need to be in a constant lookout for our neighbour and build relationships that God wants us to have in our life. It’s on us to make an intentional choice and get involved in making honest and real friendships which will affect and bless us for life.
The book of Proverbs talks a lot about neighbours and various aspects surrounding the relationship, like how to behave with them, what we’ve got to do, what to avoid and other principles.
The key verse for today in Proverbs 14:20-21 specifically speaks about differentiation that we bring towards our help to people. When we look to help, we look out for those who have similarities to us. We look for people who are deserving of our help, who are like us, similar to us in nature, status, educational background, their capabilities to reciprocate, or those who are going to be grateful. We do not help based on the commandment that said ‘love your neighbour as yourself’.
We have a lot of criteria when it comes to offering help or friendship. We first judge the other, then weigh if that person deserves our help. One of the many ways of showing differentiation is by judging if a person is rich or poor, not just physically but also in their spirituality, intelligence, friendship circles, abilities to make wise decisions, finances, etc. We make those diffrentiations and we like to hang out among the “rich”. However, the Bible sends a clear warning, that we should not despise the poor.
God has placed some really poor people in your life. We should not despise them, but instead, love them inspite of their poverty. It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbour just because of their poverty or present status.
In the story of Lazarus, the rich man went to hell while Lazarus went to Abraham’s bossom. The Rich Man, who had belittled poor Lazarus because he didn’t think this man would go anywhere, was then at Lazarus’ mercy.
Hope none of us would belittle our neighbour, but instead honour them for what God has called them for, honour, love and bless them, honour the little they have till they grow into their richness and destinies.
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