Day 12

Love for Neighbor

from the Leviticus reading plan


Leviticus 18:1-30, Leviticus 19:1-37, Psalm 133:1-2, Galatians 5:13-16

BY Bailey T. Hurley

This year my two oldest kids have become the best of friends and also the worst of enemies. The way they provoke one another exhausts a mother and necessitates the response: “you are a team, and you need to make this right because a team is at its best when it is operating together.” I wish I could tell you that my kids immediately respond in kindness. Instead, it often takes prompting and tears until they have resolved their conflict and decided they are buds again.

When it comes to making things right with our community, we too need external prompting—from the Holy Spirit. It isn’t as simple as it sounds to love your neighbor when we are prone to looking out for “me, myself and I.” In Leviticus 19, God offers a plan for a redemptive community that is unlike the world’s culture. In the world, people abuse and cheat to get ahead. They lie and steal to look better than their neighbor. They harbor revenge and let little issues spin into lifetime rifts. The world is fickle with its love and glorifies one’s success at the expense of another—if something or someone stands in your way, you have the right to take advantage of it. 

The family of God can often feel not so different from the world’s relational drama. Paul warns the church of what will happen if they treat one another like the world treats one another: “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:15). The devil prowls around like a lion looking to cause division in the church, your communities, and your households. But God says, “How delightfully good when brothers live together in harmony!” (Psalm 133:1).

God doesn’t see people or communities as expendable commodities. He sees them as image-bearers (Genesis 1:26), beloved, cherished members of His family. So, God calls His people to fulfill the laws of holiness by “[loving] your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). 

God’s community is different; it is set apart from the world to be an example of His holy communion. Because we are a team in the family of God, we can count the cost of relationships, as Christ counted the cost for us and lay down our lives for one another. In Christ’s loving-kindness, we can find the courage to fight for unity and wrestle with forgiveness even when it feels impossible.

When we find it impossible to work out our differences, I know Jesus makes it possible. Yes, there is work to be done when we would rather retaliate than restore relationships, but God is doing a good work in each of us. Moving us towards respectful care for one another—a holy unity.

Post Comments (38)

38 thoughts on "Love for Neighbor"

  1. Rhonda J. says:

    Hey She’s! Down here in Fort Myers trying to figure out where to go now that the elation of the storm survival is leaving and reality is setting in! So many needs, so much loss, so much confusion! But so many church groups are out and about helping, giving, praying! Again, we are fine, just flooded bottom space and garage, and my car, But God- He supplied our power back on last night and a rental car.
    I have prayed for and with many people the last week, and if you remember, that is what I have been nudge to build confidence in- the praying for people aloud! Well, its flowing out pretty easy now! Thank you Lord for letting me be a spokes person for your love! I have Two neighbors going to church with us Sunday and others asking my churches’ name!
    I too am learning more in Leviticus this time! I love SRT, it has been a source of wisdom and guidance these past years! And of course love all my sister she’s!
    Please keep all of us in your prayers!

  2. GramsieSue says:

    Thanks to you all for such wisdom and love in your comments. This is truly a wonderful study of what I considered a difficult book. Who knew? Lol Have a blessed weekend sisters. ❤️

  3. Dorothy says:

    Leviticus 18:18 says, ““While your wife is living, do not marry her sister and have sexual relations with her, for they would be rivals.”, so does that mean Jacob sinned by marrying both Leah and Rachel or is God changing the rules some since His people have lived in Egypt and returned? When I read this that thought popped into my mind. I know the two of them were rivals when it came to Jacob’s attention, the Scripture tells of it. It’s amazing some of the that we remember.
    God’s love for us is UNBOUNDING, LIMITLESS, FOREVER, BEYOND COMPARE and MOST OF ALL UNCONDITIONAL. As long as we have faith and ask for forgiveness God, Christ and the Holy Spirit will love us.
    Be blessed and remember YOU ARE LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY sisters.

  4. Foster Mama says:

    JENNIFER LOVES JESUS ♥️- I have already sent your comment to my mother and sister and it is blessing each of us abundantly — praying with and for you.

    Thank you SEARCHING ♥️

    God bless each of you… thankful for how you each bless my life.

    Blessed Thanksgiving to all those north of the border!!

  5. Traci Gendron says:

    Our world is filled with division lately. God help me be the example of how to live in harmony. That is a big ask. I live where I’m the oddity. We have a young man that carries a sign in our Old Town area that says “F*&$ Christians”. A young girl that used to work for me went up and talked to him. He wanted no part of it. It is a university town and very liberal in its thinking. I struggle. I don’t really care for it. I pray God will put believers in my path. That we can strengthen each other in our faith and to stand firm with God. And in that way I can learn to love my unbelieving neighbors.

  6. Nads says:

    I also really loved Leviticus 19 and sharing it with all of you! I didn’t realize that rising up (not just honouring) for the elderly was Old Testament…I love that.

    Chapter 19 was so specific in places — I know God is gracious with me but it made me think of how often I fool myself that it’s good enough when I’ve almost / kinda met the mark!

    13″Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker OVERNIGHT” (no wiggle room here…no room for “I promise I WILL pay, I just need to…”)

    14 “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord. (How would the deaf or the blind ever know?! BUT GOD sees and loves them enough to protect them and his people enough not to allow them to defile their own holiness that way.

    Does that make sense?!

    I mean them as analogies of course of REACHING for the HOLINESS God calls us to, thanking God for His great mercy but not settling for “almost” or only the things we can’t “get away with”. I am thankful for how this has convicted my heart towards a higher standard for myself. God help me!!

    {I’m a Occupational Therapist– I do the opposite of putting stumbling blocks in the way of people with disabilities, I promised :) }

    Have a blessed weekend my sisters ♥️ and, for those in Canada, a truly blessed Thanksgiving weekend!!

  7. Foster Mama says:

    @ MICHELLE PATIRE

    Thank you and AMEN to your prayer!

  8. Michelle Patire says:

    @Foster Mama- good to see you!

    Man, since moving back with my family, the past two years God has taught me SO MUCH about having patience and graciousness with them. The verse in Galatians is a reminder of the love I need to continue to foster. God, heal me of my need to control, and help me trust YOU to sanctify my family. Help me lower my expectations and let them see grace in me. God grant me grace upon grace!

    Blessings to you Shes. You are beautiful!!

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