“Love your neighbor.”
A challenge to heroic love:
“Love your neighbor. Perhaps he rolls in riches, and you are poor, living in your little cottage side by side with his lordly mansion. Every day you see his estates, his fine linen, and sumptuous banquets. God has given him these gifts. Do not covet his wealth, and think no cruel thoughts concerning him. Be content with your own lot, if you cannot better it. Do not look on your neighbor and wish that he were as you. Love him, and then you will not envy him.
“Perhaps, on the other hand, you are well off, and the poor lie near you. Do not be too proud to call them you neighbor. Accept your responsibility to love them. The world calls them inferiors. In what are they inferior?? They are far more your equal than your inferiors, for God has made “of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth (Acts 17:26). It is your coat that is better than theirs, but you are by no means better than they….
“But, perhaps you say ‘I cannot love my neighbor, because, for all I do for them, they return ingratitude and contempt.’ That leaves more room for the heroism of love. Would you be a featherweight warrior, instead of bearing the rough fight of love? He who dares the most will win the most. If your path of love is rough, tread it boldly, still loving your neighbors through thick and thin.
“..if they are hard to please, do not seek to please them, but to please your Master. Remember, if they spurn your love, your Master has not spurned it, and your actions are as acceptable to Him as if they had been acceptable to them.
“Love your neighbor, for in so doing, you are following the footsteps of Christ.”
C.H. Spurgeon, Morning by Morning