Who Is My Neighbor?

Who is My Neighbor?

We’ve all heard the parable of how the Good Samaritan was a good neighbor to the man who had been badly beaten. Several years ago, the question, “Who is my neighbor?” took on a whole new meaning for me.

It was on a Wednesday night, just after church. My daughter Rachel, who was around six years old at the time, had just been given a new necklace in her class. Once class was over, an older girl walked in and began admiring her necklace. Next, she began to manipulate Rachel in order to take the necklace from her. She said things like, “My sister is your best friend!” (She wasn’t.) “Let me have it….PLEASE!!!”

Rachel didn’t tell me what happened until we were driving home. She told me she felt like she was being mean if she didn’t let this older girl have the necklace.

I immediately turned the car around and headed to the house where girl lived and I got her necklace back. On the way home, Rachel told me she was shocked when I did that for her.

I used this situation as a learning tool, teaching her that she is not being mean by telling a person they can’t have something that belongs to her. We talked about how she will meet many manipulators in her lifetime. She needs to think about how to deal with them in a respectful, but firm, manner.

Now some may say I did the wrong thing, and they are entitled to their own opinion. I, for one, believe I did the right thing by seeing my own daughter as my “neighbor,” and showing her mercy. (Luke 10:36-37)

A few years later, we were doing a mom and daughter bible study. One of the questions was, “Can you remember a time when your Mom went to bat for you?” With no hesitation, Rachel said, “When you got my necklace back for me!” Over two years had passed since this incident took place. Though she knew it was only a necklace, and she would be able to live without it, knowing that I cared enough to get it back for her spoke volumes to her.

What a lesson it was on being a neighbor! Too often, we think of our neighbors as those outside our home. Sometimes they live under the same roof!

© 2014, Stacy R. Miller

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