Neighbor

Zechariah 8:16,17

These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the LORD.”

Speaking truth to our neighbor must flow from the well of Truth we carry in our own hearts. Again we see that the way we treat our neighbor profoundly affects the way God treats us. Why? Because He is the God who loves our neighbor and therefore commands us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, so that when we do this we manifest His nature and His glory is shown on the earth. Of course, we do not determine who our neighbor is. Our responsibility is to love them as He does.

Justice and peace are the consequence of speaking the truth – in love, as the Bible commands – to out neighbor. We must actively resist the temptation to think or practice evil against our neighbors, rather we must love and serve them in His grace and strength.

In January, the Holy Spirit gave me as my verse for the year Ephesians 4:15, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” This is not for the faint of heart. It requires a firm and steady commitment to the Lord and to living out His truth in daily, practical demonstration of His love and truth dwelling in us.

Today, let us speak truth, in love, to our neighbors because He commands it and because it reveals Him to those around us. You know who your neighbors are – love them with His truth.