Tag Archives: neighbor

Say no evil…


Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.
Proverbs 11:12

How many times does the word of God tell us that we must control our tongue and be discreet and restrained? How many times have we discussed in these pages that words  expressed with recklessness and indiscretion bring much grief and pain? Our words and how we express them say a lot about our arrogance and a person who is carried away by haughtiness cannot be labeled but as a fool. How many conflicts have been initiated by a word that is inappropriate and unwelcome? Long wars have been the outcome of misunderstandings or insults and disdains. Still others feel that they must reply to every word addressed to them. that is, they always want to have the final say on the matter. This is nothing but pride and foolishness.

Let us therefore, be very careful in how we express ourselves and also in the way we treat the people around us, whether they are known to us or not. The enemy is always lurking and waiting for the opportunity to make an allegedly innocent word be understood as a great insult that causes wounds that are very difficult to heal. It is preferable to shut up and take all the time necessary to carefully choose the words we are to use to respond to others, especially when we feel that the other person has insulted us. In the book of Proverbs we find: “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.” Said the wise King Solomon: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Today we would say that to give a rough answer is like trying to extinguish a fire with gas (petrol, benzine, etc.) James, the brother of the Lord Jesus Christ said:” We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” Let’s rein our tongue, improve our language and use our words to bless always. Only to God be the glory!

Financial snare


My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger,
you have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth.
So do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands:
Proverbs 6:1-3a

It is common practice in the world of banking that when an individual or institution does not meet the minimum criteria required to be worthy of a loan, it is accepted that other person or institution with better credentials act as guarantor for the first one. This happens quite often during the early years of marriage, when parents sometimes must act as guarantors for their children because they still lack the necessary credit merits to receive a loan from a financial institution. One thing is to come out in support of a close relative and another is to commit to pay a debt of a third-party that fails in its obligations. The word of God is very clear about it. He who does this immediately becomes a victim trapped by the snares of the hunter. Maybe you decided to be a guarantor out of a good heart but be aware that we have a duty to God and to our family of wisely managing our family financial resources with which God has blessed us. Good credit is a powerful financial resource and to use it without a sound understanding of the consequences is simply poor financial stewardship.

Avoid, therefore, to commit yourself to respond for the debts that others cannot pay and if by chance you find yourself in that situation do everything necessary to break that foolish commitment because to do otherwise will lead you to ruin and financial bondage. Do not let time pass or it will be harder for you to get out of the problem. Act diligently and immediately get rid of that unnecessary responsibility. Pay attention to the advice that the word of God gives. You’ll be wiser and it will keep you out of trouble. Only to God be the glory!

High treason


Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.
Proverbs 25:18

The least a true friend can expect of another friend is betrayal and violence. Friendship has nothing to do, and in fact is opposed to these two destructive actions. Friendship has everything to do with trust and common interests and purposes. Friendship is always surrounded by affection and good will. And last but not least, love is an essential part of a friendly relationship. When one voluntarily discards the principles of friendship to turn against a friend through treachery one is committing a heinous act. Betrayal is so evil that often accompanied with lies which makes it even deadlier. We’ve all been victims of a betrayal at some point in our lives and therefore know well how painful this experience can be. The Lord Jesus suffered betrayal by a member of his select group of apostles and although he knew what was going to happen it did not fail to prove a painful situation.

Let us always look for the good of others and let us put the interests of our friends above ours. In this way we will ensure that we will not damage the friendly relationship with which the Lord has blessed our lives. Wise King Solomon said that he  “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” and “a friend loves at all times.” So let us cultivate friendships and be aware of all those things that can damage the relationship so we can maintain it for a long, long time. The Lord Jesus said that we are his friends if we do what he commands us. Let us always obey God and we will nurture the best and sweetest friendship anyone can have, that with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To God alone be the glory!

Disdain


My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
even the light has gone from my eyes.
My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
my neighbors stay far away.
Those who want to kill me set their traps,
those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
all day long they scheme and lie.
Psalm 38:10-12

How many times have we seen that when we are burdened by the weight of guilt and the consequences of sin, instead of receiving help from our fellow-men what we get is contempt and hardness of heart? It only ratifies the conventional wisdom that has been described as “When the tree is fallen, every man goeth to it with his hatchet.” Nobody is willing to reach out or to express affection in these sad and difficult moments that can happen to anyone. Friends, neighbors and relatives alike are kept as far away as possible from us as if our adversity was highly contagious. This is where we see the harsh reality of the human heart, insensible and hard as flint. Some even, not content with staying away, take advantage of our misery to seek our destruction.

If everybody would apply the Golden Rule that Jesus taught us things would be quite different as we are seeing today. The Lord said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” [1] If today we see someone whose life’s adversities have made him a shadow of what he was before, let us consider in our hearts how we would like to be treated if we were under the same circumstances. Let our heart be like the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ who always acted out of compassion for a lost human race who had no possibility of salvation outside of putting their faith in him. To God alone be the glory!

[1] Matthew 7:12

Ethics 101


Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.
Proverbs 3:29-30

One of the benefits of having the wisdom that comes from above is that decisions can be made in light of a clear and well-defined ethics. The advantage of this is that as human beings we find it very easy to rationalize any decision we make be it good or bad. In everything we do we find a justification and Presto! our bad decisions cease to bother our conscience. That’s why so many people have trouble recognizing that they have sinned when confronted by the reality of the gospel of Christ. Our ability to find a loophole to any idea or thought that involves submission or obedience to an ethical or legal principle is huge, especially now that postmodernism has opened the doors wide open to ambiguity. We know that defrauding your neighbor is a highly questionable behavior but when we do, we can easily find plenty of reasons to give legitimacy to our bad actions.

The difference between wisdom from above and earthly wisdom is so obvious. The first seeks to do the right thing while the second does what she wants, no matter if it’s good or bad and then justifies it. The wisdom from above allows the possessor to walk in the fear of God. Reverence, that is respect and obedience to God is the foundation of the fear of God and is the basis of knowledge and heavenly wisdom. Let us recognize the limitations that as humans we have to make good decisions and let us act according to the direction we can receive directly from God through his Word. Only then can we be sure we are doing the right thing.To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word for July 25, 2011


What you have seen with your eyes
do not bring hastily to court,
for what will you do in the end
if your neighbor puts you to shame?
Proverbs 25:7 b-8

One of the things that makes us very human and not necessarily in the best sense of the word is our speed to make judgments. Very often when facing a situation or when we observe the behavior of our neighbors, we analyze the data available and with blazing speed we reach a conclusion, usually a damning and wrong conclusion. From the point of view of probabilities is very possible that we’re right for sin is the norm rather than the exception, but a judgment can not rely on probabilities but on facts and solid evidence. Usually we do not know all the details of an issue, unfortunately that does not prevent us from reaching a conclusion as if we knew all about it. That desire to issue a judgment, despite not having all the details is what gets us in trouble many times. Firstly because we are arriving at erroneous conclusions because we do not have all the necessary information and secondly because it is likely that we share our opinion with others therefore becoming bearers of gossip and intrigue.

The Lord Jesus was very clear about those who fall in this error and calls them hypocrites: «Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.» In any case, we must help to carry each other loads and do not complain about each other that we be not judged. The only judge is the Lord Jesus and we will all be held accountable for our actions or omissions. To God alone be the glory!

Today’s word 2-25-2011


If you take your neighbor to court,
do not betray another’s confidence,
or the one who hears it may shame you
and the charge against you will stand.
Proverbs 25:9-10

When people go to court seeking justice, they ─and this applies for both parties ─ typically lie in order to strengthen their case. Soon, the truth of the matter is obscured by the number of inaccuracies that are put forward by both sides. Worse still, some folks are capable of breaking confidentiality agreements to increase their chances of success at the expense of the confidant. Nothing good can come out of saving one’s reputation at the expense of somebody else’s shoes specially at the expense of someone who has put his/her trust in you.  Now, the selfish and sinful nature everybody has may prove to be more powerful than good intentions and will usually end up leading us to do what we should not do; unless, of course, a power stronger than sin stands in its way and prevents the wrong action from taking place.

As children of God all we have to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Violating this principle will only destroy our witness. Let us always stay close to the truth and we will remain focused on the path that God has set for each one of us. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the truth and acting in a honest manner at all times is an indication ─even to ourselves─  that we are following in his footsteps. . To do otherwise will only damage our witness. ¡To God alone be the glory!