There is a lot of unneighborly conduct these days—all manner of unkindness and cruelty result when hearts are full of jealousy, envy, bitterness, and malice. For example, the woke cancel culture of today shows no mercy to a neighbor. Its virtue signaling, self-vindication, and hypocritical deflection of self-scrutiny are bearing the fruit of injustice, suspicion, and division among us. Conversely, being a neighbor means showing mercy to others when they need it. To do that, we must have hearts full of compassion (Col. 3:12). Being a neighbor is about loving “your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all did that? In this encounter between a lawyer and Jesus (Luke 10:25-37), the critical question was not when the lawyer asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor” (Luke 10:29)? It was Jesus’s question back to him, “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves” (Luke 10:36)? The true neighbor actively shows mercy to others (Rom. 13:8-10; 1 Pet. 3:8-9). We ought to look for opportunities to show mercy to others. They are not hard to find. Be a neighbor today. Show mercy to someone in their time of need. You will reap what you sow (Matt. 5:7).
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38, NKJV)
Like the “adulterous and sinful generation” in which Jesus lived, the cancel culture of this present age is working hard to silence voices with which they differ. Virtue signaling takes the place of reasoned analysis and open discussion where differences exist. The leaders thought it more expedient for them to silence Jesus by killing Him (Jno. 11:47-53). When these same leaders tried to silence Peter and John with threats, they said, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:17-20). Similar forces press upon Christians today. They try to make us feel guilty for our faith and ashamed of speaking God’s truth against their evil. Brethren, we do not “stand up for Jesus” when we are ashamed to speak out against sin. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5:11). Yes, let us “speak the truth in love,” but speak it, we must (Eph. 4:15; 2 Tim. 4:2). We must not be intimidated by godless people into shameful silence when a lost world needs to be saved by the words of Jesus (Rom. 1:16). The Lord was not ashamed to die for us. Let us commit ourselves not to be ashamed of Him and His words in the face of growing opposition and threats in this adulterous and sinful generation (1 Pet. 4:16).