“He who despises his neighbor sins…” (Proverbs 14:21)
“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:10)
“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Matthew 22:38-39)
While I understand that Jesus told the parable of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) to explain that my “neighbor” is anyone I meet, I also understand that I live on a specific street and have literal neighbors. Therefore, it is my Christian duty to do all that I can to get along with them and show them love and friendship.
A man bought a farm and went out to look at the line fence, which had been the source of much quarreling between the farm’s previous owner and his neighbor. The neighbor spied the fellow inspecting the fence and, in a huff, went out there and said in an agitated tone, “That fence is a full foot over on my side.”
To the angry neighbor’s astonishment, the new owner answered, “Very well then, we will set the fence over two feet on my side.” That offer rendered the neighbor speechless until he was finally able to stammer out, “Oh, but that is more than I claim.” “Never mind about that,” said the owner pleasantly, “I’d much rather have peace with my neighbor than two feet of earth.” But with the situation now difused completely, the neighbor said, “That’s very good of you, but I couldn’t let you do a thing like that. That fence just won’t be moved at all.”
Are you having a problem with one of your neighbors these days? Is a property line in question? Is a tree limb hanging over onto your place? Is a drainage issue causing you trouble? Is a barking dog keeping you up at night? Then by all means show love in your attempts to resolve the matter. Don’t turn the thing into the Hatfields and the McCoys. Ask God to give you wisdom and guidance in reaching a solution that is pleasing to Him. Remember that you can’t put a price on being at peace with your neighbor.