Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. (ESV)
We are told here to please our neighbor. Does this conflict with the Scriptural admonition that we are to please the Lord? Actually, no. The direct result of a life that pleases the Lord is one that will obey him. If we truly want to please the Lord we will do what he says. He is telling us here to please our neighbor for their good.
The fact is, we can only obey this command if we have first obeyed the command to please the Lord. When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment in Scripture was he replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27). Loving God comes before loving our neighbor.
One of the primary ways that we know someone is a believer in Jesus Christ is that they care more about others than for themselves. The character of Christ becomes the character of his followers. We begin to act like he does as he lives through us. Jesus set the standard by loving the unlovely. When he died for us we were rebels against his will.
Your neighbor might live next door. He may not. Your neighbor may act in loving ways toward you. He might drive you crazy with rude behavior. Your response is to please your neighbor, for his good, to build him up. This will not be easy. You cannot do it on your own. You will need to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. He will give you all the help that you need.
Who is the neighbor that came to mind who drives you crazy? How can you please him, for his good? Make sure you seek the Lord's help before acting.
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