Zion Baptist Church
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By Mrs. Connie Reifsteck - June 2010
 
 

How To Treat Others

 
The ten commandments are alive and well, and are backed up by many other scriptures in God’s Word.  We do not lack for instructions about how we should live, especially in a world devoted to self-centered efforts to make one’s life “better” by the standards of the world.  The key is that as Christians, we are not of the world.  This world is a temporary dwelling for us, and our lives need to reflect the better place waiting for us. 
 
Look at the following scriptures and determine how they define your life today and the behavior Christians should be showing.  Following the scripture quotations are some simple interpretations. 
 
1.  Exodus 20:16     
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”
 
- Tell the truth when testifying about your neighbor.
 
2.  Exodus 20:17     
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor is female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
 
- Do not covet (desire enviously) anything that belongs to your neighbor. 
 
3.  Leviticus 19:18     
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself;  I am the Lord.”
 
- Love your neighbor as yourself.
 
4.  Deuteronomy 27:17
“Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor’s landmark.”
 
- Don’t move your neighbor’s boundary marker.
 
5.  Proverbs 25:8
“Do not go hastily to court; For what will you do in the end, When your neighbor has put you to shame?”
 
- Don’t take your neighbor to court.
 
6.  Proverbs 25:17
“Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, Lest he become weary of you and hate you.”
 
- Don’t visit your neighbor too often.
 
7.  Matthew 5:41
“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”
 
- If someone forces you to go one mile, go two.
 
8.  Matthew 5:44
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, . . .”
 
- Pray for those who persecute you.
 
9.  Matthew 5:44
“. . .do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
 
- Do good to those who hate you.
 
10.  Luke 6:27
“But I say to you who hear; Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”
 
- Love your enemies.
 
11.  Luke 6:28
“Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”
 
- Bless those who curse you.
 
12.  Luke 6:29
“To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also.  And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.”
 
- If someone takes your cloak, give your tunic, also.
 
13.  Luke 6:30
“Give to everyone who asks of you.  And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.”
 
- Give to everyone who asks of you.
 
14. Luke 6:35
“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons to the Most High.  For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.”
 
- Lend to others and don’t expect anything back.
 
15.  Luke 6:37
“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
 
- Don’t judge.
 
16.  Romans 14:13
“Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”
 
- Don’t be a stumbling block to others.
 
These are pretty straightforward instructions.  There are a few expressions of speech we don’t use today.  I seldom hear the word covet (see 2), but I hear envy. 
 
Landmarks (see 4) in Bible times usually consisted of movable objects (a pile of stones, for instance).  If someone moved the landmark, they were causing their neighbor’s land holdings to be smaller, increasing their own.  This was stealing, and punishable as such.
 
The tunic (see 12) was an under garment, worn with a girdle and girded up for work or travel.  The cloak was an outer garment, worn as a coat over all the other garments.  A poor man might have several under garments, but only one top coat.  There was a legal restriction on taking a man’s cloak as a pledge overnight, because the cloak was also used as a covering while sleeping, and was important for survival.       
 
An actual stumblingblock is not something we see today, but in this context we are not talking about an actual object in the path of our neighbor, but a word or deed on our part that might cause a weaker neighbor to be hurt.  We should not condemn our neighbor so harshly that great offense is caused, and our witness to them is damaged.  
 
Sometimes we are guilty of talking about “getting even” with someone who has given offense, or “hating” someone for something bad they did to harm us.  Most of our instruction from scripture and almost all of the teachings of Jesus resound with the command to LOVE. 
 
Garner’s Baptist Commentary says this: “God's children are subject to a three‑fold judgment: 1) By their neighbors. 2) By their conscience. 3) By the Lord.”  The instructions we are given are really pretty simple.  Love your enemies.  Bless those who curse you.  Love your enemies.  Turn the other cheek.  Love your enemies.  Judge not.  Love your enemies.  Condemn not, and you won’t be condemned.  Love your enemies.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Love your enemies.  Do good to those who hate you.  Love your enemies.  Pray for those who use you badly.  Love your enemies.  Give to anyone who asks of you.  Love your enemies.