An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

(Proverbs 14:21 KJV)  He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

I live in a mixed neighborhood.  By that I don’t mean racially or culturally mixed, although that is also true.  What I mean is that the “neighbor” (7453) on one side is wonderful.  The people on two sides are very short of wonderful.  On one corner they have loud parties.  It is mixed. 

Am I one who “despiseth” (despises NASB) (936) my less than wonderful neighbors?  I hope not.  This says that someone who acts and feels that way “sinneth” (sins NASB) (2398).  This word is defined as holding in contempt and holding as insignificant.  We might talk about looking down on someone.

It doesn’t look like this is a matter of choice.  I can pick where I live.  I can change who my neighbors are if I want to move.  Those are choices I can make.  This is one that has no options.

So?  Time for an attitude check.  Think about how you greet your neighbors.  I hope you are not one of those people who look the other way and act like they don’t exist.  As Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery after He forgave her, “go, and sin no more.” 


Gorges Smythe said...

This is one of those verses where there appears to be no relation between the two halves of the sentence. I wonder if the contempt was originally refering to displeasure with poor neighbors. I really can't say. Your post is still valid, though!

Pumice said...

I am far from an expert on Hebrew but I know the original did not have the verse divisions or the punctuation. It is possible that the two statements were separate ideas. Much of Proverbs is that way.

So much to study and learn...

Grace and peace.