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Neighbor’s, Naughty and Nice

Text: Proverbs 14:21 (NIV)

21 He who despises his neighbor sins,

but blessed is he who is kind to the needy. [1]

I.        Introduction: According to a Mexican legend, San Ysidro was plowing his garden when an angel appeared: “The Lord wants to see you, Ysidro. Come with me.” But Ysidro was busy. He refused the command.

Again the angel appeared: “Unless you come at once, the Lord will send winds and drought to wither your corn.” Ysidro was unperturbed. He had fought the wind before; drought could be relieved by river.

Twice more the angel appeared, but Ysidro would not leave his work. The fourth time, the angel said simply: “If you do not come with me, the Lord will send you a bad neighbor.”

Ysidro paused in the middle of the row and turned to the messenger. “I’ll go with you now,” he said quietly. “I can stand anything but that.”

—Maxwell Droke[2]

II.      Villainous Contempt: A Grievous Neighbor

A.      The Attitude of Contempt: Derision

B.      The Object of Contempt: Neighbor

C.      The Ethics of Contempt: Shame

III.   Virtuous Compassion: A Gracious Neighbor

A.      The Reward of Compassion: Blessing

B.      The Heart of Compassion: Caring

C.      The Target of Compassion: Needy

IV.    Conclusion: A neighbor in need is a neighbor indeed.


[1] The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

[2]Tan, Paul Lee. Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : [A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers]. Garland TX: Bible Communications, 1996, c1979.

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