1.  In Luke chapter 10 verse 27, it is said we should love our neighbours as ourselves. The same question the lawyer asked Jesus is still pertinent today: Who is my neighbour?

2. The person who lives next to you or near you or any other fellow human being is your neighbour. God has given you neighbours for your own and their own benefits. Here, we are concerned with how they relate to your life and success.

3.  Life is like a business that is impossible to do in an uninhabited island. If there are no neighbours or people the business of living or of life becomes a burden or even non-existent. As they say “No man is an island”. Your neighbour and people you come in contact with every day in the market, street, home, compound, school, church and anywhere have a part to play in your life directly or indirectly. “Never abandon a friend- either yours or your father’s. Then in your time of need, you won’t have to ask your relatives for assistance. It is better to go to a friend than to a relative who lives far away” (Prov. 27:10 NLT). What you do with your neighbour will either make or mar your life’s journey. Everyone you meet is an opportunity to move forward or backward. Understand that you cannot succeed alone.

4. You need other people’s input or contribution as you cannot clap with one hand. In the arena of life, you don’t introduce yourself. You need people to introduce you. When it was time for the fulfillment of Joseph’s dream, it was Pharaoh’s Chief Butler that introduced him to the palace. This man was once his neighbour in the prison. Joseph served and encouraged him while he was in the prison. It turned out to be that prison mate that introduced him because he was a good neighbour. You have to do good to all men.

5.  A problem many people have is stereotype. That is, fixed idea about a person or place, not usually correct. Sometimes, it is unfounded generalization or grouping of people. When your mind is closed against blacks or whites, tall or short people, tribe or language, place or location, you are limiting yourself from possibilities. Embrace new ideas and open your mind to understand what you are not used to. Don’t be closed minded about a person or group of people. The question was asked“can something good come out of Nazareth?” The answer was “come and see” (John 1:46).

6. Service to God is through your neighbour. You serve God through your neighbours. Service is the road map to the top. Take responsibility wherever you are: in your school, church, shop, compound, factory, office and on the street. Responsibility is the proof of your ability and your known ability is what gives you position or placement in life. How did people know that Jesus was anointed? He went about doing good for people (Act 10:38). Any ability or gift you have that does not bless others cannot be said to be from God. Service is life booster or enhancer. Your value is equivalent to the service you render anywhere, anytime.

7. Now, be determined to be blessing to your neighbours and they will in turn be a blessing to you. Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 says “give generously, for your gift will return to you later.  Divide your gift among many, for you do not know what risks might be ahead” (NLT). That little boy may turn around in the future to be a help to you. He may carry the favour that heaven will use to remember you. Learn to invest in human beings. Invest your time, talent, treasures, knowledge and other things in people; you will be the better for it in the long run. Don’t be a curse but a blessing to your neighbours. This is part of the primary duties of man.

   –   Innocent Alenkhe


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