by Kenneth Copeland
“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Romans 13:10, New King James Version
Who is your neighbor? Your neighbor is the person who is near to you at the moment. When you’re standing in line at the ballgame, your neighbor is the man standing in front of you whom you elbowed out of the way to get a better seat. When you’re waiting for a parking place at the grocery store, your neighbor is the person in the car who swerved around you and took the place you’d been waiting for.
The Bible says love does no harm to those people. Love is considerate of them. Love is sensitive to them.
That sounds simple enough. But the fact is, before we can be considerate of someone and sensitive to them, we have to be aware that they exist. We have to be spiritually alert enough to notice them. To do that, we have to get our minds renewed because our culture has trained us to be so self-centered, we don’t even see each other.
It’s amazing. People will notice things before they’ll notice other people. They’ll admire an expensive car and never even see the person driving it. They’ll appreciate buildings, clothes and jewelry, and ignore the people in them as if they’re totally insignificant. But when we fall into that, we’re being deceived. People are far more important than things. Never use people to get things. Use things to BLESS and show God’s love to people.
The only way we can be sure not to do any harm to our neighbor is to value people enough to notice them. We must esteem others as much as we do ourselves. We must see them as being more important than things.
We should never treat someone poorly over a seat at the ballgame or a parking place. But we’ll do it inadvertently if we don’t renew our minds and exercise our awareness of them.
That’s why walking in love requires us to cultivate our consciousness of the impact our words and actions have on the people around us. If we hurt someone’s feelings because we spoke harshly to them (or didn’t speak to them at all), we can’t excuse ourselves by saying, “Hey, I didn’t even realize I offended them,” or “I was thinking about something else and didn’t notice they were standing there.”
That won’t fly because if we’re walking in love, we won’t be that self-absorbed. We’ll see the pain flash across that person’s face when we’re abrupt with them. We’ll consider them more important than our own thoughts and acknowledge them when we walk by.
Love gives us a heightened awareness of others that keeps us from carelessly neglecting them. It ensures we do our neighbor no harm.
LOVE ASSIGNMENT: As you go through the day, pay attention to the people themselves, before you address any issue with them. Take a few minutes to allow the Love in you to be aware of them. It could make all the difference in their day…and yours!
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