Good Neighbor Policy

     When I was growing up, my father used to say, “No matter who they are or what they do, treat your neighbors with love.”

     I did not fully understand what he meant until one Sabbath, when on our way to church, we spotted someone shoveling corn from our crib into a battered old truck.  Dad stopped the car and got out.  The man looked up and froze.  I knew this man!

     Everybody in town had suspected him of stealing their gas!  No one had ever confronted him for fear of his violent temper.  Now we had caught him red-handed!  What was Dad going to do?

     My father called to him and kindly said, “If that is not enough, come back tomorrow.  Take as much as you need.  Remember, you are my neighbor.”  The man dropped his shovel and hung his head.

     He never stole from us or anyone else in town again, as far as I know.  Perhaps he learned how to be a good neighbor that day.  I know I did.

     “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Leviticus 19:18.


    “For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.”  Deuteronomy 15:11