Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“You shall love your neighbor.”
The command here is very simple: “Love your neighbor.” But, you may ask, what if he is rich and you are poor, living in your tiny cottage next to his sprawling mansion? You see his wealth every day: his large house, his fine clothing, and his big parties. Be assured that God has given him these gifts, so do not covet his wealth, and do not think of him harshly. Be content with what you have. If you can make it better for yourself, then do so. But if you can’t, then don’t look upon your neighbor and wish that he were like you. Love him, and then you will not envy him.
Perhaps, on the other hand, you are rich, and others around you are poor. Don’t hate to call them your neighbor. Own the fact that you are obligated to love them. The world calls them your inferiors, but in what way are they inferior? They are far more your equals than your inferiors, for God has made each of us in his image. Your coat may be better than theirs, but you yourself are by no means better.
But, perhaps, you say, “I cannot love my neighbors because they reject everything I do for them. Ah, but don’t you see? That gives you even more opportunity to express the heroism of love. Are you a feather-bed warrior instead of bearing the rough fight of love? If they spurn your love, love them anyway. Remember that your Master has not spurned it, and your deed is as acceptable to him as if it had been acceptable to them.
Love your neighbor, for in so doing you are following in the footsteps of Christ. [M&E]