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In the Gates



The Rule of Law: Government of Relationships (7)

Neighbor-love requires that we be ready to help when help is needed.

You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother.” Deuteronomy 22.1

Neighbor-love requires that we be ready to help when help is needed. Of course this means that we must each one “pull our own weight” in the community, and not be a burden on others. We should also be ready to contribute to community needs without grumbling, such as in paying our taxes in a timely and honest manner. Further, if we have abilities to lend in community service – on boards or in public office, or even as coaches and mentors, for example – we must prayerfully consider whether neighbor-love might require such of us.

But in more practical, everyday ways as well we should stand at the ready to help our neighbors in any way we can. We should especially consider the needs of the elderly, the infirm, and the poor. We must be attentive to our co-workers and near neighbors, in case an opportunity should arise in which we might lend a hand. Even such simple tasks as holding open a door, helping a person with directions, or serving in our local church can fulfill this part of the requirement of love.

Love takes on tangible form when we lend our strength to assist our neighbors simply because they are our neighbors and not because we expect anything in return.

For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the life of faith, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to and click on our Book Store.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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