(Proverbs 27:10 KJV) Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.
There are three different relationships talked about here. Two of them we find contrasted in the New Testament. We have “brother’s” (251) and we have “neighbors” (7934). We also have “friends” (7453) but I am going to include them with the neighbor. I am going to make a connection which is not exegetically correct but it is where the Lord is speaking to me today.
As I read the NT I understand that usually “brother” refers to a fellow believer and “neighbor” refers to the world at large. There are possible exceptions but that is how I see the emphasis. The best example is found in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus is explaining who our neighbors are and picks a person who is a recognized enemy to the Jews.
I realize the connection is weak and I would not make a point of doctrine out of this, but bear with me. What this proverb is saying to me is that I need to look to my relationships with the people around me. I need to be a part of my literal neighbors, the people next door. I need to be a friend to the people I work with. They may not be believers, in fact, the odds are against it. But, before God, we have a responsibility to be there for them in times of need. It may be as simple as bringing in there garbage cans when they are late getting home. It may be giving them shelter when their house burns down. It may be listening and offering the hope of Jesus when they have a personal crisis.
The reason this is hitting me today has to do with my nature as a loner. I am happiest when I am alone in the house with a good book. I am by nature an introvert. I can socialize. Sometimes I even enjoy being with people. But if given a choice I will sit and not say a word. Maybe you are not that way, but I am. I need to focus on reaching out. I need to be alert to times I can serve those around me.
So I need to spend more time listening at work. I pray that the lord will make me more sensitive in this area of life.