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How to Be a Good Neighbor

Daily Reading: Romans 15

Scripture Focus: Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself. (Romans 15.2-3a)

Devotional Thought: I once heard someone interpret the Golden Rule as "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them." not as you would have them do unto you. In other words, don't assume that someone else wants what you want!


• Let us please them. While we are not 'people-pleasers', in the sense that we have to constantly worry about what others think of us, we should be concerned with what makes people happy. We all know people who aggravate others just for the sake of meanness. Paul said, "That's no way to live. Why not try to please them instead?" It makes life more pleasant - and better! - for everyone around.

• Let us do them good. We must realize, of course, that what makes someone happy may actually do them harm. It would make my grandson Grayson happy if his Mommy gave him candy for supper every night. But, would that do him good? Of course not. Sometimes by giving a person what they want, you are actually doing them more harm than good. Doing good, then, is a higher order than pleasing them.

• Let us build them up. Lest we adopt a superior attitude, however, we must temper even the good that we do with a sense of building others up. Sometimes good can be done in such a way as to destroy the hope and faith of another. Condescension and criticism brings a person down. Let's build them up!

Are you treating others with respect, with concern and with dignity?

Prayer: Lord, help me to build others up around me. I want my life to bring good to others, to bring joy and peace and hope to them. Help me to live for others as Christ lived and died for me. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 22.6-11

6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

9 Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breasts. 10 On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God. 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.

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