Day 18

Genesis 37:1‐38:30; Matthew 12:22‐45; Psalm 16:1‐11; Proverbs 3:27‐32

Do Unto Others

Last year our next-door neighbor borrowed the hand tool my husband uses to trim the tree limbs around our house. As far as I know, it is still in our neighbor’s garage and probably will be until we need to cut away stray branches in the Spring.

Have you ever had a neighbor who borrowed a tool and just never returned it? While it is not a big deal on some level, this is just what Solomon was speaking of when he wrote this bit of wisdom down. It does matter how we treat one another and when we borrow something and don’t return it, the behavior is inconsiderate and unfair. When that is done to us, our trust is broken, and we are much less willing to help out on future occasions.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
Do not plan evil against your neighbor,
who dwells trustingly beside you. –Proverbs 3:27-29

God has given us such abundance in this country. How do we reach out to those around us who have so much less than we? Are we stingy with that neighbor? Or if it is within our means, do we give graciously?

Jesus teaches us that we are to treat one another like we want to be treated. That means when we borrow something we have received from others, we should cheerfully and quickly return the item in even better shape than when it was handed over to us.

And when our Lord blesses us with abundance, we should share.

Phyllis Bartle+
St. Jude’s Episcopal Church
Orange City, FL