He's not my neighbor!
Updated: Jan 30
It's so difficult for us to be charitable towards those who have done us wrong. We can hold a grudge for a long time against certain people. But doesn't that contradict what Jesus said, "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself?" We have a big problem with not doing the things that Jesus Himself spoke of. This particular one is an excellent example.
When someone has wronged you in some way, either by word or action, do you respond with love and charity? Do you pray for that person daily? When you see that person doing well, whether it's in business or their personal life, are you happy for them? When they accuse you of something that you're completely innocent of, are you joyful to God that you can suffer some humiliation for His sake? Do you refrain from talking bad about that person so you don't fall into the vice of revenge, but point out to others their good qualities?
Doing all of those things are the most wonderful acts of charity that you can perform and offer to God. Why do we need to be esteemed in the eyes of others? If God is our sole motive, we will be content with knowing that He alone knows the truth about us and His good opinion of us is sufficient.
When the person(s) who has dragged you through the mud is down and needs help, we should be the first one there to offer a helping hand. Charity comes from love and love is what will get us into Heaven. Without love, all of your efforts to please God are an absolute waste. The great St. Therese, the little flower, spoke consistently about how love was the only way to attain salvation and she was right. Everything we do must be accompanied by love. God measures every one of our actions by the love behind it.
If we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, how can we speak ill of anyone? Wouldn't we then, be speaking bad about ourselves? You can be sure that that is how God sees it. We forget very easily the injustice Jesus suffered for our sake. He gave us a true example of charity by submitting Himself to the false accusations of the Pharisees and sacrificing His own life. Here on earth, nobody is trying to take your life from you. Whatever injustice you may be experiencing, is so small compared to what Jesus experienced for us. To accept patiently and charitably the injustices of people, only makes you that much more pleasing to God.
Remember, to love our neighbor is to love him more than ourselves, our good name, the things we possess. Without this love, how can we hope for the salvation of Heaven? Everything boils down to love. Heaven is pure love. Without love, we could never enter into the glory of Heaven.
Peace, good and blessings.