Here is an excerpt from my new book “Eleven” you can buy it here by clicking this link…
Neighbors are important
all of them
Yes, even the ones…
that are well…
that are so easy to talk about or get upset at. The way they live (to you) makes it hard not to fall into the trap of saying…
“you’ll never believe what my neighbor did yesterday…..”
“My neighbor is so stupid….”
they seem to make it hard for you not to be upset at them. You get so upset that you find yourself wanting to go over to their house to give them a piece of your mind and that’s just what you do.
“Whoever belittles/ derides (NIV)/ despises (NASB) his neighbor lacks sense…” Proverbs 11:12 (ESV)
Just the other day I was reading in the newspaper about a dispute between two neighbors. One neighbor had gotten so mad at the other neighbor that he decided to line his property with “not so nice” signs with words I shouldn’t type here, addressing “in sign form” the issues they were fighting over.
In another neighborhood (in America) a neighbor staged a one man picket line in front of his neighbor’s house protesting the dispute they were having between each other. He looked absolutely ridiculous carrying his sign back and forth on the road in front of his neighbor’s house.
Another person in another neighborhood took her dog to her neighbor’s house and allowed it to take a dump in the neighbor’s yard. Then she proceeded to put a small sign up beside it that said “clean up your dog’s mess when he poops in someone else’s yard.” (and it was IN ALL CAPS)
“Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense…” Proverbs 11:12a (ESV)
“Whoever uses vocalized negative expressions against their neighbor lacks sense…” (PBP)
There are times when our neighbors will do things that we do not understand, that will irritate us to no end. Everyone has a neighbor (or two) in his community that just isn’t like everyone else. Some are cranky while others just need to be medicated (and they have never explored that option). But there are reasons why those neighbors are the way they are and the irritation you have towards them shows that you probably have more of a problem than they do. This may be especially true if you act out on those feelings – talking about them behind their backs or lashing out at them.
You think your neighbor lacks sense because of how he lives; but you prove you lack sense when you belittle him to his face or behind his back to others. Each word you speak against him proves that you “lack sense” even more so than he does.
“but a man of understanding remains silent.” Proverbs 11:12b (ESV)
“but a man who refrains from speaking negative expressions against his neighbor is a man that understands the value of maintaining relationships.” (PBP)
Here is what he “understands”.
Neighbors are important.
Neighbors are important and it is unwise to say whatever it is that is on our mind concerning them. It causes damage… to us and them.
Neighbors are important. It is best to have peace with your neighbor and do what it takes to have peace and not stir up strife with them.
Neighbors are important and maintaining a good relationship with them is valuable. Rash comments or speaking unwisely causes you to lose a valuable connection with them.
Neighbors are important. Yes, there are neighbors that you should keep your distance from. There are Neighbors that should never be close to you. But, this fact does not mean that you can treat them bad or talk about them in a negative way.
You never know when you might need their help.
Neighbors are human and just like everyone else, they make mistakes. You never help someone by spreading what they have done to other people. You never help someone by yelling at them and getting upset. To stay silent keeps the door open for them to correct their lifestyle and keeps you from lying about them. It keeps a door open for them to seek you out for help in the future concerning their issues because you refrained from dragging them through the mud at the moment you were emotionally charged. It conveys the message that you are safe and a friend that is there to help and serve them instead of being their enemy.
Rash, belittling comments have a tendency to find their way back to the individual(s) they were directed at. We all know how this feels and what it does to us and our feelings toward the person who made the comments. The feeling of betrayal and shock that comes from those words damages our relationships with those “neighbors” from that point on. The exact same thing happens when we say something that belittles someone else. It eventually gets backs to them and the damage is often irreparable.
Rash, belittling comments that we make about someone else, reveals how wimpy and unrighteous we really are. It is senseless to tell someone else about an issue you have with another person; it never solves the problem and makes it worse. When we allow ourselves to say something about someone that is not in the room that we would not say if that person were present reveals we are too cowardly to handle our grievances in the right fashion…
with just that person.
It proves that cultivating healthy relationships is not as important as maintaining our level of pride.
A man of understanding “understands” these things…
so he is silent
thus, he is careful when, if or how he speaks to the person concerning the issue that is on his heart.
“Whoever uses vocalized negative expressions against his neighbor lacks sense; but a man who refrains from speaking negative expressions against his neighbor is a man that understands the value of maintaining relationships.” Proverbs 11:12 (PBP)