Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 24, 2023

“you shall love your neighbor as yourself” – “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Today’s devotion comes from Leviticus 19:15-18.

“‘You shall do no injustice in judgment;  you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.  You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor;  I am the LORD.

‘You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart;  you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him.  You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself;  I am the LORD.”  Leviticus 19:15-18.


“Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another;  for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.  For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”  Love does no wrong to a neighbor;  therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”  Romans 13:8-10.

Too often, we are in a rush to love how we want to love without paying close attention to the examples of love in Scripture and the summary provided by Scripture.   

Notice from today’s Scripture in Leviticus 19:15-18 the specific examples of how we can love our neighbor.  Notice that four of the Ten Commandments are given as examples of love in Romans 13:9.  Notice that all these specific examples and commands fall under the summary of love in Romans 13:10:  “Love does no wrong to a neighbor”.

If there is one chapter of love, we primarily consider in the Bible, 1 Corinthians chapter 13 would be it.  But, in the heart of this chapter which gives examples of love, we notice that these following examples of love also fall under the summary:  “Love does no wrong to a neighbor”.

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;  love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly;  it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

So to speak, we do not necessarily need to bake a pie for our neighbor.  We do not necessarily need to mow his grass.  We do not necessarily need to give our neighbor a hug. We can do these and other good things, but, above all, we need to do no wrong to a neighbor.

We may feel good and righteous about ourselves if we give $5.00 to a homeless person or to a social mission.  But, do we delay paying $500 in wages to our neighbor who works for us?  Do we withhold $50 under some excuse, because we can get away with it?  Remember the prior command from yesterday’s devotion.  “‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him.  The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning.”  Leviticus 19:13. 

Notice the following specific warnings that help us to not drift away from love which immediately follow this verse.  “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”  Galatians 5:14. 

“But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.”  Galatians 5:15.

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:  immorality, …  enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, … of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Galatians 5:19-21.

“Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”  Galatians 5:26.

We openly flatter our neighbor for our gain. But, do we secretly gossip and envy our neighbor to his harm?

In summary, let us follow Scripture and love by being more careful to do no wrong to our neighbor.

But, there is hope!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love …”  Galatians 5:22.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”  Galatians 5:16.  

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”  Galatians 5:25.  


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