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Love Worketh No Ill to His Neighbor
By Stan L. Caldwell

In reading the Roman letter the other day I came across this phrase, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor". Isn't that an impressive statement? What a world this would be if all men fulfilled that principle!

All would be done for the best for others. We would not be thinking of ourselves, even in controversy, but we would be thinking of what is best for those we influence and are dealing with. As Romans 12:17-21 says, we would, "Recompense to no man evil for evil" but we would "Provide things honest in the sight of all men". If it were possible, we would "live peaceably with all men". We would not avenge ourselves, but rather give place unto wrath, for the Lord will judge. If our enemy was hungry or thirsty we would seek to help him. We would certainly be determined to "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good". What an attitude and determination. Is this our longing?

Malicious gossip would cease. Malicious gossip is intended to hurt others, to work ill to our neighbor, as our text puts it. Do you ever find yourself talking to others in such a way as to bring harm upon someone because those people just do not fit in with your plans? Are your plans worth destroying someone, or hurting them, working ill upon them? Malicious gossip is of the devil and is not filled with love, as Christians should be.

Enemies would realize that others were trying to help them rather than hurt them. When we are constantly trying to do good and lead others in righteousness, even our enemies know deep within themselves that we are out for their good. In this, if there is any hope for them, they will be drawn to the Lord and apart from sin unto righteousness. I think of Simon whom Peter corrected in Acts 8. When all was said and done, Simon desired Peter to pray for him. He knew what Peter wanted was his salvation.

Adultery would cease, along with stealing, covetouness, etc. The text mentions these items before it says, "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor". How can one commit adultery, or steal or covet his neighbor when he wants what is best for his neighbor. He cannot! These things are contrary to the very principle by which he lives.

Conclusion: Matthew 22:39 says the second greatest commandment is "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself". The only way one will fulfill this command is if he fulfills the greatest commandment of verse 37, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." Our text emphasizes this twice, in verse 8, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law" and in verse 10, "love worketh no ill to his neigbhbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." How are you treating other people and what is your desire for them? Do you find yourself working ill toward them? Perhaps the problem is not with the other people. Perhaps you should evaluate yourself!

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