Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself—Matt. 22: 39.
You would not want your neighbor to use brain and tongue in evil surmises and slanders against you; and you should not do so to him. The law of the Lord commands that all under His Covenant shall take heed not to utter one solitary suspicion against a neighbor; and that if suspicion beyond knowledge be forced upon the mind by associated circumstances, the new mind shall promptly, with its native benevolence, counterbalance the suspicions by suggestions of the possibility of misinformation or misinterpretation and always give the apparently guilty the benefit of the doubt.
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Every free moral agent is our neighbor, regardless of race, nationality, sex, station, age, clime, relation or plane of being. Especially do we have two classes of neighbors, i.e., those in Adam and those in Christ. Some neighbors are nearer than others; and their varying degrees of nearness to us govern our varying degrees of obligation to them. Thus we are under more obligation to our families than to strangers, to the consecrated than to the tentatively justified, and to the tentatively justified than to the unjustified. The following seems to be the practical application of this text: to give our neighbor the same good will and service as we, ruled by our knowledge of the Lord's will pertaining to the circumstances, would have him give us, if we were in his place, and he in ours. This is the rule of duty love, i.e., justice toward our fellows. Sacrifice in violation of this rule is unacceptable to God.
Parallel passages: Lev. 19: 18; Mic. 6: 8; Matt. 7: 12; 9: 13; Mark 12: 31; Rom. 13: 9; Gal. 5: 14; Jas. 2: 8; 1Tim. 1: 5; 1Pet. 1: 22; 2Pet. 1: 7; 1John 3: 18.
Questions: Did I this week love my neighbor as myself? What were the circumstances and results?
"GOD BLESS YOU!"
I SEEK in prayerful words, dear friend,
My heart's true wish to send you,
That you may know that far or near
My loving thoughts attend you!
I cannot find a truer word,
Nor fonder to caress you;
Nor song nor poem I have heard
Is sweeter than "God bless you!"
"God bless you!" so I've wished you all
Of brightness life possesses;
For can there any joy at all
Be yours unless God blesses!
"God bless you!" so I breathe a charm,
Lest grief's dark night oppress you,
For how can sorrow bring you harm,
If 'tis God's way to bless you!
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