He’s Still Your Neighbor

hands“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us” (the apostle Paul on Mars’ Hill, speaking to the people of Athens, Acts 17:24-27, KJV).

The Bible doesn’t have separate accounts of creation for various nations and races of people, or separate Adams and Eves to originate different types or classes of humanity in different regions of the world. There are no verses in Genesis that say, “And God said, ‘Let Us make red man in our image, after our likeness, and let Us make yellow man in our image, after our likeness, and black man, and white man, and so on. They shall not be the same man. Let us breathe different kinds of breath into each different man and give them all different kinds of blood, that they might battle over which breath is best, which blood is best, and which man is most like My image. And if any one kind of man shall mix with any other kind of man, it shall be sin.’”

No. The book of Genesis lets us know that God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” and that He created them male and female, both in His image. He breathed the (one) breath of life into man, the human being, and the human being became a living soul. God gives life and breath to all and has made of one blood all the nations (and, hence, all nationalities) of the earth to seek Him, a God Who isn’t far from any and every one of us.

So, when it gets down to the heart of it, it’s just plain ridiculous to have a problem with people because of their race, their class, their sex, their culture, or any of that. Even the one human being on the planet who’s the absolute furthest away from you—in appearance, in distance, in conviction, in language, in ideology, or whatever—that person is living on the same thing that you are. Breath. And the blood that’s running through your veins, keeping you alive? The same blood is pumping through that person who’s so “far away” from you.

That’s right. Your “blood relatives” are not the only people who’ve got your blood.

Why else would it be so important for you to love your neighbor as you love yourself? The biblical story of the Good Samaritan illustrates how even though someone may be different from you, how someone may not live where you live or may be caught in circumstances different from yours–that person is still your neighbor, a fellow living soul.

It’s no secret that evil is present in society, but it’s not impossible to overcome evil with good. It’s not impossible to overcome injustice with justice. Those who are wise enough to truly respect humanity mustn’t be afraid to be moved with compassion, to make way for sagacious thinking and action for the sake of families, communities, nations, and a world full of human beings with breath and blood.

 

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2 thoughts on “He’s Still Your Neighbor

  1. Pingback: The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride | Prismatic Prospects

  2. Pingback: Diversity in Christian Fiction | Prismatic Prospects

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