Love Thy Neighbor – Who is My Neighbor?
There is a famous verse in the Bible that tells us, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. When we ask the question “who is my neighbor and why should I love them?” the Bible also has an answer – it is clear after taking the whole of the Bible within context that we are to consider everyone around us our neighbor (yes that means our relatives too) and we are to love them as we would love our own self.
How do we do this? How do we love people that might push all our buttons and trigger out the worst of emotions in us around the Thanksgiving table? Be conscious of the fact that everyone around your table is human and that means they are imperfect, flawed and probably hurting over one thing or another. Siblings that treated each other horribly as they grew up can slip back into the same dynamics when gathered around the table. Parents that never seemed to approve of you or what you do trigger feelings of inadequacy and hurt.
It can be helpful to just begin to shift your perspective of them as “your neighbor” here on earth, your fellow pilgrams on this journey called life. When you understand that hurt people (hurt as adjective) hurt people (hurt as verb), it helps to take the personal sting out of less than positive interactions.
To read some of the applicable scriptures see: Matthew 22:35-40, Luke 10: 25-37