10 The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.
10 The wicked crave evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them. (NIV)
Several years ago my parents bought their first house. By this time, we were a fairly good Christians, and we were looking forward to meeting new neighbors.
One of our next door neighbors proved more difficult to know. Most weekends they would have loud, wild parties with drugs and alcohol; both the parents and the daughter would take turns throwing these parties. They would let their lawn grow wild. Even their dog frequently escaped and ran wild around the neighborhood.
No matter what we said or how many times the authorities were called, they persisted in their wild behavior. They had no concern about their neighbors being kept up all night, having to look at their uncared-for property, and dealing with their dog.
This verse tells us one thing: it is not good to pursue evil and not care about others. Not only will others not like us, but our life may be more bitter and difficult than we might care to admit.
However, the Bible tells us another thing, something my parents have lived out well: no matter how evil our neighbors may be, we must still love them.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
An evil neighbor is not a reason to be evil to others, even to those who are evil to us. Instead, we must rise to God’s standard, and we must give love and mercy where we receive evil and no mercy.
Good Lord, keep us from the evil we are so apt to commit against each other. Help us to grow in Your love and mercy toward others.