Despising Your Neighbor

He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Proverbs 14:21

We all know that we shouldn’t despise other people.  No matter who they are or what they have done, we are not supposed to hate or despise people.  This verse zeroes in on not despising our neighbors.  I think that, while it obviously does apply to our actual “neighbor – the person who lives next to us, it also would apply to anyone that we come in contact with.  I would apply the term “neighbor” to anyone that we are around consistently.  And you know what?  Those are often the easiest people to start to despise.  Of course, God knows this and so included a specific warning for us.

The guy that cuts us off in traffic or the clerk that gives us back the wrong change might irritate us, but we aren’t likely to start “despising” them.  Our families can sometimes make us very angry or very sad, but again, usually we don’t despise them.  But those people that we are around every day.  Those are the people we have to be careful with.  The people we work with – we see them not working hard and still being promoted.  We get annoyed and those little annoyances begin to grow over time.  The people we live around.  We see their new cars and fancy things and find ourselves getting jealous.  Sometimes we see their failures and begin to swell up with pride in ourselves.  We might start to look down on them.

All of these things are wrong.  “He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth…”  That is a simple statement.  There are no exceptions given.  Our neighbors are sometimes easy to despise.  That doesn’t mean it’s right.  The next time we are around our “neighbors” and the little irritations start to add up, we would be wise to remember this verse.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks so much, Ben. I think this is just so great a reminder from Him as we head into Thanksgiving. God bless you and those who are around you!


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