This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one word prompt. The prompt today is “neighbor.”
Here in the UK, we spell neighbour with a u. The “incorrect” spelling was the first thing that caught my attention as I saw the prompt word this morning! 🙂 I promise I mean no disrespect to my American friends or others who spell the word “neighbor” but as I reflected on it, I decided that I like the inclusion of the letter u.
The reason is: to be a good neighbour, I need to be thinking about you.
I need to look beyond myself, to put aside my own wants and desires, to realise that it’s not all about me. I need to stop and look around me to see where others need me to be a good neighbour: to notice the person who’s struggling and needs a helping hand, to see where someone could use a word of encouragement, to be aware of what is happening in others’ lives- to take an interest and to pray for them.
In Jesus’ story, a man lies injured by the side of the road. Three people pass by, but only one stops to help. The first two are caught up in their own matters: the important places they have to go, their reputations in others’ eyes, the implications of touching the man who is hurt and making themselves unclean.
By contrast, the third looks outside of himself, and sees someone who is hurt in need of assistance. He is filled with compassion and goes above and beyond the call of duty to help a stranger.
He is not focussing on “I” but he is thinking about “you.”
Jesus calls us to follow his example, and it’s a challenge to me. It’s far too easy to become selfish- preoccupied with our own concerns, but when we look beyond that and truly consider others- that’s when we’re being a good neighbour. It can be costly but it’s worth it, and it’s all about “you.”