Who do you call “Neighbor”?
Who are the people that you call “neighbor”? The people that live next door, across the street, down the street, or within your housing development, apartment building or condo? What about the people at work or in your school? What about the people that live right inside of your home…your spouse, parents, brothers, sisters? Basically, anyone you come in contact with as you live your life is your neighbor and God expects us to all get along. We are not to take revenge or bear a grudge. In fact, He expects us to love others as much as we love ourselves.
Revenge and Grudge
There is nothing right or okay about taking revenge or holding on to a grudge. There is no place in the Christian’s life for either one. No where in the life of Christ will you find him taking revenge or holding a grudge. Not when Judas betrayed him, not when the 12 disciples left him, not when Peter denied him, and not when the Roman soldier nailed him to a cross. Instead, from the cross, He asks His Father to “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
God wants us to forgive….just as He forgave us. Paul told us in Romans 12:19, Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” When you hold on to a grudge or seek revenge, you are typically the person that is most miserable while the one you are angry with goes on with their life. But when you release it and let it go into the hands of the Almighty God and choose forgiveness instead, you demonstrate the nature and character of Christ.
Defeating the Urge to Grudge
Proverbs 25:21-22 says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.” It really comes down to one word: “LOVE.” We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are to even love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us. Paul wrote in Romans 12:14, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.” If you want to defeat the urge to take revenge or hold a grudge, bless the person who did you wrong. Stop and pray for that person and ask God to bless them. You’ll feel much better than hanging on to anger and holding grudges and seeking revenge.
Try to find at least five things that you can do for other people today that show you love them as much as you love yourself. Can you do one thing for each of the following people: someone in your home, someone on your street, someone at work, a friend, a total stranger or homeless person. As you do, say a prayer of blessing for each of these people.
Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template
Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.
For America to see revival, 2 Chronicles 7:14 says we are to seek God’s face. Jeremiah tells us that we will find Him when we search for Him with all our hearts.
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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
- Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
- Conversation Starters.
- Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
- Romance Builders.
- Relationship Builders.
- Personal reflections.
- Date ideas.
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