WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 20, 2022
TOPIC: BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then he said, ‘Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors — empty vessels; do not gather just a few’” (2 Kings 4:3 New King James Version).
There will always be good neighbours and bad neighbours because there are good people and bad people. But be sure you’re a good neighbour. Not only that, learn to live at peace with good neighbours and bad neighbours. The Bible says as much as it lies within your power, live in peace with all (Romans 12:18).
Many times, the Bible says love your neighbour as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8). This also applies to those who are living close to you. David said, “Do not take me away with the wicked and with the workers of iniquity, who speak peace to their neighbors, but evil is in their hearts” (Psalm 28:3 New King James Version). Don’t be such a neighbour.
Sometimes what happens to you affects your neighbours and vice versa. Therefore, be interested in their welfare even the difficult ones among them. Don’t try to live in isolation, but don’t be a nuisance to your neighbour. Proverbs 25:17, says, “Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, lest he become weary of you and hate you” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation says it like this: “Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome.” Visit your neighbours but don’t disturb them with too much visit or overstay your welcome. “Don’t go to your neighbor’s house too often; too much of you will make him hate you” (New Century Version). Be a good neighbour.
It is wrong to think that you don’t need your neighbours. That may be true for some time, but a day will come when you’ll see that you need them and that is not the right time to want to be a good neighbour. For instance, how can you live in a place and don’t have your neighbours’ phone numbers? Do you feel you don’t need them and, therefore, you’re looking down on them? But a day will come that you’ll know that we need each other.
Sometimes your neighbours will need you. At another time, you may need them. It may not be for any big thing that you’ll need them, yet it could be very important. Nobody is self-sufficient. Don’t despise any of your neighbours. Don’t be full of yourself. Don’t be snobbish. If they don’t greet you, greet them. If they don’t ask for your phone number, ask for theirs. You may not need to phone them for any reason for a long time and you may. The same thing applies to them. Have a good relationship with your neighbours. Be a good neighbour.
In 2 Kings 4, the widow of one of the sons of the prophets suddenly needed her neighbours. It wasn’t food or money she needed from them. She didn’t need any of them to help her train the two sons her husband left behind or to help pay the debt he owed which she must pay back, or the creditors would take away her sons. What she needed were empty vessels or containers. She needed many.
She had run to the prophet Elisha because the creditor was coming to take away her two sons because of the debt her husband didn’t pay before he died. Elisha asked her what she had in the house. She replied that she had nothing except a pot of oil. “Then he said, ‘Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors — empty vessels; do not gather just a few’” (2 Kings 4:3 New King James Version). Did you see that?
If she had in any way felt that she wouldn’t need her neighbours for anything, she had been proved wrong. There was no single person that could have the number of vessels or containers that Elisha had in mind and asked her to get.
She must go to her neighbours one after the other and beg for vessels. And that was what she did. If she had been a bad neighbour, she would have a problem approaching them for help. She would not have the confidence to go and borrow their vessels. Even if she summoned the courage, some of them might not lend her. They might want to punish her for being a bad neighbour.
But from the story, the neighbours lent her their vessels. She followed Elisha’s instructions. “And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones. So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, ‘Bring me another vessel.’ And he said to her, ‘There is not another vessel.’ So the oil ceased” (2 Kings 4:4-6 New King James Version).
The woman went back to Elisha to tell him what had happened. He told her to go and sell the oil, pay her debt and she and her sons should live on the rest. The number of vessels the woman was able to get to borrow determined the amount of money she was blessed with through this miracle of abundant oil.
Thank God for using His servant, Elisha, to give this woman divine instruction. Thank God also that the woman also obeyed after running to God’s servant. But this woman’s neighbours also played an important role in the miracle she experienced. They supplied the containers she used. I’m sure she would be extremely grateful to them thereafter when returning their vessels.
Proverbs 14:21 says, “He who despises his neighbor sins; but he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he” (New King James Version). Don’t look down on your neighbours. They could be rich or poor. You may need them soon or one day. Don’t isolate yourself in your neighbourhood. Many have suffered in different ways because of this. He was a bad neighbour and fought with everyone. When he was in danger, he wasn’t confident to cry to anyone for help. Or when the other neighbours were sharing information that would be of help to her, she was ignorant of what was going on.
How can you be quarrelling with your neighbours and stop talking to them? David lamented in Psalm 12:2 that neighbours lied to each other, speaking with flattering lips and insincere hearts. Don’t be such a neighbour and beware of them. Don’t lie against your neighbours (Proverbs 24:28). Avoid gossips.
Be a good neighbour. “Do not devise evil against your neighbor, for he dwells by you for safety’s sake” (Proverbs 3:29 New King James Version). In other words, “Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you” (New Living Translation). Don’t fight your neighbours (Isaiah 9:2). You’re all temporary sojourners on earth. Nobody is perfect. Resolve any misunderstanding peacefully. Promote peace among your neighbours. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God (Matthew 5:9). No doubt, there are difficult neighbours. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to walk in love with them.
Rejoice with neighbours who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). Support good causes embarked on jointly by neighbours. Don’t have a reputation of not being cooperative.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to be a good neighbour. Grant me the grace to live peacefully with difficult neighbours. Let me not be a difficult neighbour. Father, help us to live in peace as neighbours; let us be good neighbours to each other. Let peace and security reign in my neighbourhood.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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