“Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.”
Some neighbors can be the worst examples of humanity. They know how to push your buttons, make you angry, even make your dog bark. Some neighbors have trees that were intentionally bred to shed their leaves when the wind blows in your direction. They’re evil. They even look at you through their windows.
Then again, there are other neighbors who respect your privacy. They watch your house when you’re gone, bring you breakfast in bed, and loan you tools, never expecting to see them again. They’re great. You envy them.
Unless you are one of the few who still live in the wilderness and and drive five miles to collect your mail, you probably have neighbors. And if your neighbors have been around a few generations, they’re not going anywhere, so why be mean to them?
What goes around…
You have probably heard the saying, “What goes around, comes around.” It’s not karma, or fate; it’s common sense. It is a statement born out of experience. When you treat your neighbor poorly, it will come back and bite you in the cul-de-sac.
That is the wisdom to be found in this verse.
When it is obvious your neighbor is settled and “dwelleth securely,” the best thing to do is make friends, or at least keep from being enemies. Romans 12:18 says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
You never know.
The neighbor you’re trying to run off today may become your in-laws, tomorrow. Solomon had a lot of experience with in-laws (but that’s another story).
Lord, help me to be mindful of the needs of my neighbors. You have put me here next to these people for a reason. May I be a witness and a shining example of what it means to be a neighbor. After all, it was You who said “love your neighbor as yourself.”